Europeans should work harder to understand Turkey and its President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina's presidency said on Thursday.
Bakir Izetbegovic's remarks came during the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Bulgaria's capital Sofia.
"I think Europe’s reactions to Erdogan are too harsh,” he said.
“I think Europe sees Turkey as burdensome, but in spite of that, it is strongly lifting its economy. Europeans should hear out Turkey and Erdogan more.”
He added that Bosnia and Herzegovina has never had any problems when it comes to its relationship with Turkey and also the entire region.
European Union and Western Balkans leaders meet in Sofia, Bulgaria Thursday for their first summit in 15 years, focusing on European integration, as well as closer cooperation in the region.
The summit is being attended by leaders from the Western Balkans — Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Kosovo, none of them EU members — as well as heads of state and government of member states and top EU officials.