Turkey will be present in Bosnia and Herzegovina but only if the Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats unite and say that they want Turkey as a mediator, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told local reporters upon his return from the last week's visit to Bosnia and Montenegro.
“I already told them, if you make such a decision, we will also make our assessments. Make this decision as the three, don't wait for instructions from somewhere else,” said Erdogan.
He was responding to a reporter's question about what role will Turkey play in Bosnia and Herzegovina, considering the statements of BiH Presidency members, Milorad Dodik and Zeljko Komsic, who said Turkey was a guarantee of peace in the region.
Turkey will be present, only if all three major ethnic groups agree on that and say that they want Turkey as a mediator, Erdogan replied.
The statement comes a day after Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik proposed that internal issues in BiH are solved through a dialogue that would be mediated by the presidents of Turkey, Serbia and Croatia.
“There is no more trust in these current intermediaries,” Dodik said referring to the international bodies that are overseeing Bosnia's peace process.
Croat Presidency member Komsic responded to Dodik's proposal and dismissed it by saying that he could not see how the two countries that have “carried out an act of aggression against BiH have greater international credibility than the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France, the EU, UN or Russia for that matter, which witnessed the signing of the Dayton Agreement.”
Komsic was probably referring to Serbia and Croatia, but he made no direct reference to Turkey.
Croatian President Zoran Milanovic also commented on Dodik's proposal, calling it “well-intentioned but unrealistic.”