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Prospects for Trilateral Relations between Turkey, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina

This paper aims to evaluate the trilateral relations between Turkey, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the course of a proper evaluation of the growing dynamics of diplomatic relations between these three countries, it is important to assess relations at the presidential and ministerial levels. The research analyzes official statements, declarations, and agreements that envision the tripartite mechanism. Besides putting these official statements, declarations, and agreements into perspective, the research aims to assess the major implications, activities, and results of trilateral relations. It is significant to determine to what extent trilateral relations affect diplomatic relations, regional stability, regional cooperation, tourism, trade, and economic relations. This paper also aims to put the trilateral relations into perspective by explaining constructive and proactive Turkish foreign policy in the Balkans.

Prospects for Trilateral Relations between Turkey Serbia and Bosnia and
Foreign Ministers of Turkey Çavuşoğlu (C), Bosnia and Herzegovina Crnadak (R), and Serbia Dačić (L) attend a trilateral meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Turkey-Serbia-Bosnia and Herzegovina in New York on September 22, 2016. FATİH AKTAŞ/AA Photo
 

Introduction1

After the end of the Cold War and with the adoption of “Vision 2023: Turkey’s Foreign Policy Objectives,” Turkish foreign policy and diplomacy towards the Balkans changed. Consequently, Turkey began to play a proactive and mediating role in the Balkans, skillfully utilizing shared geography, history, economics, and culture. In 2009, initial steps were undertaken towards the adoption of trilateral relations between Turkey, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This tripartite diplomatic model was a step forward in enacting of new trilateral relations and a multi-dimensional model to tackle a number of regional problems. Turkey encountered a multi-polar world, whose changing security, political, and economic realities could be addressed more successfully by means of a trilateral relations model.2

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