BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – Turkey's defense minister was awarded honorary Bosnia and Herzegovina citizenship during an official visit to the city of Zenica on Tuesday.
Hulusi Akar Akar paid a visit to the EUFOR Task Force TAF Liaison and Monitoring Team House in Zenica to receive a briefing on the mission's activities.
After the visit, Akar met with families he knew in the city, where he served 25 years ago as a member of the Turkish Armed Forces.
At the end of the meeting, Akar was presented with an honorary citizenship certificate by the speaker of the Zenica Doboj Canton Parliament.
At the occasion, Akar expressed gratitude to the city and stated that Zenica is very important to them since "we spent very important and meaningful days here."
Turkey is very sensitive about Bosnia and Herzegovina, he said.
"We worked together willingly and intensively to improve social life and make daily life easier as soon as the cease-fire was signed in 1995," he said, referring to the Dayton Accords which ended the Bosnian War.
"We put a lot of time and work into it," he remarked, adding that Bosnians' well-being is equally important to the happiness of the Turkish people.
"Your happiness and security really concern us. We hope Bosnia and Herzegovina continues its development for stability and integrity. The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole deserve to live happily. You have the right to live in comfort and peace after the serious hardships experienced in the past. We will continue to work together,” he vowed.
Later, Akar visited Zenica Turkish Park. He also had a souvenir photo taken in front of the Turkish Fountain, built by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Turkish Brigade Command in 1999, and a tree he planted during his visit to the city in 2014.