Turkey's stance on East Med remains unchanged: Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated on Tuesday that Turkey’s position remains unchanged when it comes to the Eastern Mediterranean issue.

Speaking at a joint press conference with members of the Presidential Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Turkish capital Ankara, Erdoğan said Turkey is in a decision-making position in the Eastern Mediterranean and that the country’s “determined stance remains the same.”

It will not be possible for Turkey to make concessions in the Eastern Mediterranean, he underlined.

Responding to a question on diplomatic contact between Ankara and Cairo, Erdoğan said the Egyptian people “do not contradict Turkey.”

Turkey’s ties with the Balkans

In the press conference, Erdoğan noted that he hopes for a trilateral summit between Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia and to bring into effect the Turkey-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Croatia mechanism.

Turkey will send 30,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Erdoğan added, further stating that the country aims to expand the trade volume with Sarajevo to $1 billion (TL 7.49 billion) as soon as possible.

Stressing that they evaluated bilateral ties and discussed ways to boost trade volume, the President said Turkey attaches great importance to peace and stability in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Interest in TurkStream pipeline

In the presser, the current head of Bosnia’s Presidential Council Milorad Dodik expressed their interest in the TurkStream pipeline.

The 930-kilometer (578-mile) TurkStream pipeline will carry Russian gas under the Black Sea through Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary, with another section reaching Turkey.

The project is the largest-diameter offshore gas pipeline in the world laid at such depths with a capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters per year.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, ties between the two countries strengthened, he stressed, pointing out the deals signed between Ankara and Sarajevo.

“This initiative and the efforts of the President [Erdoğan] make an important contribution to the realization of this project,” he also said, referring to the Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway Project.

Dodik added that bilateral relations between Ankara and Sarajevo should be an example for everyone and thanked Erdoğan for Turkey’s support to Bosnia in its fight against the coronavirus.

“Because of this global system, unfortunately we have not been able to receive vaccines so far,” Dodik said, highlighting that Turkey and Slovenia are the two countries that provide the nation with the most assistance.