Erdogan holds talks in Serbia as Turkey hikes Balkan clout

AP

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  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, speaks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, in Belgrade, Serbia, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. Erdogan is on a two-day official visit to Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

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    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks on as documents are exchanged after the signing of an agreement after talks with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic, in Belgrade, Serbia, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. Erdogan is on a two-day official visit to Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, speaks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, in Belgrade, Serbia, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. Erdogan is on a two-day official visit to Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

  • 1

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks on as documents are exchanged after the signing of an agreement after talks with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic, in Belgrade, Serbia, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. Erdogan is on a two-day official visit to Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held talks in Serbia as Ankara steps up efforts to increase its clout in the Balkans.

Erdogan's talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Tuesday focused on trade and investment, but also covered political relations in the region, where many countries have historic and religious links with Turkey from centuries of Ottoman rule.

Erdogan says that the current trade exchange between the two countries of $800 million (682 million euros) "is not enough."

He has promised more Turkish investments, including into a highway linking the Serbian and Bosnian capitals.

Erdogan will travel to the predominantly Muslim-populated southern Sandzak region of Serbia on Wednesday.

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