Turkey would support Kosovo’s accelerated NATO membership, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told his Kosovo counterpart Vjosa Osmani on Tuesday during her visit in Ankara.
“We’ve always advocated and still advocate that it would be advantageous to enlarge NATO,” adding that Turkiye wanted this “for world peace,” Erdoğan said during a joint press conference with Osmani.
“As an important NATO country, Turkey does not see anything wrong with Kosovo’s membership in NATO. We do not need anyone’s permission to support the NATO membership process. We have taken steps. As we did in the case of recognition, so we will do for the process of Kosovo’s membership in NATO,” he added.
Erdoğan recalled that Turkey was the second country to recognise Kosovo’s independence in 2008, right after the United States, and noted their contribution to many recognitions that followed and for which they are still lobbying.
“Our meetings and contacts continue to bring new recognitions from countries that have not done so. In the meeting we had, Vjosa Osmani gave me the names of several countries to secure new recognitions of Kosovo, and we want to have new recognitions,“ he said.
President Osmani stressed the close ties between the two nations, and thanked Erdoğan for his country’s continuous support since the declaration of independence in 2008.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told the press that his government had prepared a protest note for Turkey, but they were still mulling whether it’s worth delivering it.
Kosovo has asked the EU and NATO for accelerated membership following the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and fears that Serbia, a close ally of Russia, may instill similar attacks or acts of destabilization in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.