UPDATES WITH MORE DETAILS FROM MUSTAFA SENTOP'S VISIT, REVISES HEADLINE, MINOR EDITS
By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - Stability in the Balkans is extremely important for the region, Europe, and the world, Turkey's parliament speaker said on Wednesday.
"Lasting peace and stability in the Balkans is of great importance not only for the region, but also for Europe and the world," Mustafa Sentop said, addressing a joint news conference with Ivica Dacic, the head of Serbia's parliament.
For his part, Dacic said Turkey's stabilizing role in the region was "very important," adding: "That's why Serbia wants to develop fraternal and friendly relations with Turkey and seek common interests, as well as serve as a link for pursuing common interests with Bosniak Muslims in our region."
After the joint press conference, Sentop left a message in the guest book in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and visited the assembly premises.
Earlier in the day, Sentop was received by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
"We will never forget that you called our president right after the treacherous coup attempt on July 15 in 2016," said Sentop, referring to the defeated coup organized by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in Turkey.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, in Turkey, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 injured.
Vucic emphasized that he would always support developing and maintaining high-level relations with Turkey.
Sentop also met with Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Culture and Information Minister Maja Gojkovic as part of his official visit to Serbia.
He also visited Turkey's Yunus Emre Institute in Belgrade.