Cavusoglu and Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman arrived in Zagreb together aboard the Turkish minister’s plane from Ohrid, North Macedonia, where they had attended the Prespa Forum.
Speaking at a news conference at the Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Ministry, whose post-earthquake reconstruction would be taken over by a Turkish company, Cavusoglu said he and Grlić Radman used their joint journey for talks.
The two ministers exchanged expressions of gratitude for the help Croatia provided Turkey during the 2021 wildfires and the help Turkey gave Croatia after the disastrous earthquakes in 2020.
Grlić Radman said that there were no outstanding issues between the two countries and Cavusoglu said their relations were based on “great friendship.”
The Turkish official announced that Turkish President Erdogan would visit Zagreb soon, but he did not reveal any details.
A large part of the two ministers’ talks was about the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where Cavusoglu will travel later today after he meets with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, but the news conference heard only general messages.
Ankara’s official position has been clear and unchanged for a long time, we fully support the stability, peace and economic integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said the Turkish minister, who met in Istanbul recently with the Serb member of the BiH Presidency, Milorad Dodik, after which he met with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić in Belgrade, and with Croatian President Zoran Milanović in Ohrid.
We always keep our distance as regards all political sides in BiH. We treat everyone equally, we are not biased, said Cavusoglu, who is to meet in BiH with the international community’s High Representative, Christian Schmidt, and BiH Presidency members Šefik Džaferović and Željko Komšić. He is also expected to visit the grave of former BiH President Alija Izetbegović.
The Turkish minister announced the strengthening of dialogue that is part of a mechanism of trilateral consultations between Zagreb, Sarajevo and Ankara, also to be discussed in BiH.
We see that that there have been talks between Bosniaks and Croats in BiH lately, we will definitely support them and we hope for a positive outcome, he stressed.
Addressing the news conference, Grlić Radman spoke about the “historic role of the two charismatic presidents” – Suleyman Demirel of Turkey and Franjo Tuđman of Croatia – for regional stability.
Grlić Radman thanked his Turkish counterpart for support to Croatia’s accession to the OECD and Cavusoglu thanked Croatia for its support to Turkey’s EU membership bid.
Cavusoglu said that trade between the two countries, which has seen a significant increase, could amount to one billion US dollars this year, and as much as US$ 5 billion over a five-year period.
Turkish companies are in charge of numerous projects in Croatia, in construction, energy and tourism and the two countries are also discussing cooperation in the military industry, Cavusoglu said.