By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – The recent upswing in the separatist talk in Bosnia and Herzegovina serves no party, said Turkey’s defense minister on Monday.
"We believe the separatist rhetoric in Bosnia and Herzegovina benefits no one,” Hulusi Akar told a joint press conference with his Bosnian counterpart Sifet Podzic in the capital Sarajevo, on an official visit.
“We see the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole,” he added.
“We’re following the situation closely. We invite the relevant parties to think reasonably, sensibly, and act prudently. Existing and potential problems can also be resolved through negotiations through peaceful means.”
Stressing that Turkey stands by to help, he said: “I want you to know that we’re ready to do our part on every issue, including mediation, when requested.”
Beginning his visit, Akar was welcomed with a military ceremony by Defense Minister Podzic and saluted the parade guard.
- Political dispute in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Bosnia-Herzegovina has seen a separatist push since Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of the country’s presidency, blasted legal changes banning the denial of genocide and the glorification of war criminals.
Dodik pushed for the Republika Srpska parliament to take separatist steps in the army, judiciary, and tax systems if the changes were not reversed.
The steps have been internationally criticized for violating the 1995 Dayton Accords and undermining the country's Constitution.