Turkey's President Erdogan begins three-day Balkan tour in Sarajevo

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By Louise Miner  with AP and EBU
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan   -   Copyright  Armin Durgut/Associated Press

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina to strengthen ties in the region, at the start of a three-day tour of the Balkans.

Erdogan arrived first in Sarajevo, where he had a meeting with the three-member Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidential Council. 

The visit comes amid a series of political crises in the region, including in the Serb-inhabited Republic of Srpska and tensions with Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims. 

Turkey says Erdogan wants to promote policies which support and develop the Balkan countries. 

During the first day of his visit, President Erdogan took the chance to criticise Turkey's long-time foe Greece. 

He accused the country of harassing Turkish jets and warned Athens that Ankara "can do whatever is necessary when the time comes."

Before traveling to the region, Erdogan spoke about the energy crisis in Europe and mentioned that Turkey has no gas supply problem - blaming EU sanctions against Russia for the situation in the bloc.

He's maintained friendly relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin while trying to stay neutral about the war in Ukraine.