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Serbia angry over reported remarks by Turkish PM

October 25, 2013

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia’s government says it will formally protest reported remarks by Turkey’s prime minister in Kosovo, the former Serbian province whose 2008 declaration of independence Serbia rejects.

Serbian media have quoted Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying in Kosovo on Wednesday that “Turkey is Kosovo and Kosovo is Turkey.” The comment has been widely criticized in Serbia which is sensitive to the centuries-long Ottoman rule in the Balkans and to any acknowledgement of Kosovo’s independence.

Serbia’s government said Friday it will seek an official explanation. It described Erdogan’s statement as a grave violation of international law and a blow to mutual relations and efforts to stabilize the Balkans.

Turkey has recognized Kosovo’s independence. Serbia has been told it must improve ties with the former province to move closer to the EU.

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