Turkey wants to deepen ties with Serbia: Erdogan

ANKARA

Turkey wants to "deepen and diversify" bilateral relations with Serbia, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

"We want to deepen and diversify relations with Serbia," Erdogan told the Turkey-Serbia Business Forum in Serbia's capital Belgrade. 

Erdogan said the two countries have "strong" desire to improve bilateral relations.

"Serbia is a friendly country for us and a key country for peace and stability in the Balkans.

"We have had strong friendship ties with Serbia for centuries. We have many common words in Turkish and Serbian, we have poems and folk songs describing this beautiful geography, Balkans," the Turkish president said.

Erdogan told the forum that Ankara and Belgrade signed nine agreements after the Turkey-Serbia High-Level Cooperation Council meeting.

He also called on Serbian entrepreneurs to invest in Turkey.

Erdogan said that relations between the two countries have gained momentum in recent years with numerous high-level visits.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called on Turkish business people to up investments in Serbia.

Praising Erdogan's leadership, he said, Turkey's national income per capita has increased from $3,500 to $11,000. 

"Show me another world or European leader who has achieved it," said Vucic.

He said Turkey has emerged stronger each time from external pressures.

"The Turkish people are very hard-working people. President Erdogan is committed to the development of his country," he added.

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