Babacan on first visit to Kosovo .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ANKARA - Scheduled to fly to Kosovo yesterday to mark the first official visit since the breakaway region declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan had still not departed when the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review went to print yesterday.

A large group of Turkish businessmen will accompany Babacan and business council meetings will be held in both countries, said a written statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry. From Kosovo, Babacan will travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In Kosovo, Babacan will meet with the foreign minister, the president as well as the representatives of the Turkish community and address the parliament. He will also visit Turkish troops serving under the Kosovo Force, or KFOR, in Prizren.

Turkey was one of the first countries to recognize Kosovo’s independence, which drew protest from Serbia as it recalled its ambassador to Turkey and refused for a long time to allow the Turkish ambassador in Belgrade to take office. Ankara has turned its coordination office in Kosovo into an embassy, but no ambassador has yet been appointed. Kosovo appointed Dr. Bekim Seydiu as ambassador to Ankara. Seydiu received his doctorate from Ankara’s private Bilkent University.