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Meeting with Erdogan, Borisov and Putin, talks on strengthening cooperation: Vucic ends Turkey visit

A large number of officials were in attendance as TurkStream pipeline section was launched

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Predsednik Vučić stigao je u Istanbul gde prisustvuje svečanosti povodom puštanja u rad deonice gasovoda "Turski tok".

A post shared by Aleksandar Vučić (@buducnostsrbijeav) on

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic was in Turkey on Wednesday where, at the invitation of Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he attended a ceremony marking the opening of a section of the TurkStream gas pipeline.

He was greeted at the airport and during his stay in Istanbul, Vucic met with Turkish President Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

"The four of us will have some (time) between lunch and dinner, where we will be alone," said Vucic ahead of the meetings, adding that they would also discuss, face to face, bilateral relations.

While in Istanbul, he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The launching of the TurkStream section is of great importance for energy security and efficiency of supply to our population as well as to the industry. That is why I am happy that today, along with meetings with the presidents of Turkey and of the Russian Federation, I had the opportunity to speak with Boyko Borisov. Much depends on when Bulgaria will complete its part," said a statement published on the president's Instagram account, "buducnostsrbijeav"

After the ceremony, the president of Turkey hosted a dinner for the presidents of Serbia and Russia, Aleksandar Vucic and Vladimir Putin, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, as well as other officials who came to Turkey.

The president of Serbia also spoke with Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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Predsednik Vučić završava posetu Istanbulu bilateralnim susretom sa predsednikom Republike Turske @rterdogan

A post shared by Aleksandar Vučić (@buducnostsrbijeav) on

The situation in the region

The president of Serbia did not want to assess the possibility of a compromise between the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) and the state of Montenegro regarding the property of our Church in that country, but expressed his hope that a compromise, if any, would not be to the detriment of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serb people.

Vucic noted that many are referring to the issue of the "Orthodox Church" in general and the Montenegrin-Littoral Metropolitanate, without mentioning the Serbian Orthodox Church.

"I want to believe and I hope that our churches and monasteries will participate in that compromise, but as part of the Serbian Church, as it always has been," said the Serbian president, when asked by a journalist to comment on the coming into force yesterday of the controversial law in Montenegro, and whether there is any chance of a compromise.

zgrada Skupštine Crne Gore u Podgorici

Photo: Tanjug/Marija Petrovic

He added that he always wants to believe that agreement is possible - but as to whether he is optimistic about this - he said he could not say anything at all.

Asked how he sees the SPC Montenegrin-Littoral Metropolinate "reducing pressure" regarding the disputed law, Vucic said that he did not interfere, but that he certainly wishes them success.

"They organize everything, we don't participate in it. I didn't want to bother them in any way. I wish them much success," said Vucic.

Asked how one would determine "the ID number of the founder of the SPC" - something that is now required in Montenegro by law to register the Church, and since the founder is Saint Sava - Vucic said he was not after collecting easy political points by talking about it in that way.

Speaking about Croatia, he said that Serbia is open for cooperation and that the two countries will need to have substantially better relations, though, as he noted, "few statesmen in the world" have referred to Serbia and Serbs "a handful of misery" as the newly elected Croatian President Zoran Milanovic has done in the past.

Asked what he expects in relations between Serbia and Croatia, Vucic said that Serbia would welcome with delight any improvement of the relationship toward Serbs in Croatia.



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