Erdogan at SEECP: EU enlargement blocked by short-sighted populists

NEWS 09.07.2019 13:37
Source: N1

Full cooperation between South-East European countries is not only important for our countries but for the peace, stability and prosperity of the entire European continent, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Tuesday, at the second day of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Summit in Sarajevo, adding that the Process is critical to the Balkan's integration into European institutions.

“We've seen that the EU enlargement policy's been blocked lately by some short-sighted populists. Negative trends, divisions and discrimination spreading across the continent are not only dangerous for Europe itself but for the future and the potential for this region to become a hope for many,” Erdogan noted.

He expressed his pleasure with the fact that the SEECP founding countries agreed that Turkey should take over the future Presidency of the Process, adding that he believes the leaders will support further integration of the Balkan region and the EU.

He pointed out that Turkey has been a refuge for several million refugees.

“We'll focus on the issue of migration, expansion of resources, transport routes in the region and similar. The EU countries cannot boast of receiving several dozen migrants, yet Turkey has been a refuge for several million refugees. Turkey's expenses for helping refugees have surpassed $ 36 billion,” Erdogan said.

He concluded that Balkan countries should develop economic cooperation and in that sense, the Belgrade-Sarajevo expressway is of strategic importance.