Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on Monday with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Mabeyn Palace in Istanbul.

This was their fist meeting since Vucic became Serbia’s president, Beta reported, citing Turkey’s Andadolu agency.

Erdogan will bring to Serbia 150 businesspeople who will establish business contacts with Serbian entrepreneurs, Vucic announced after the meeting, according to Tanjug.

Vucic said he “believed his Turkish counterpart would visit Serbia in the shortest possible time,” adding that he asked Erdogan to pay a multi-day visit “to be able to discuss all regional and political matters.”

Earlier in the day, he spoke in the presidential session at the 22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC), to say that Turkey has become “a key bridge country for the future of global energy” and is also vital for Serbia’s energy security,” Andadolu reported.

Energy security has come to the fore of foreign policy priorities, particularly when it comes to gas supplies, Vucic said, and added:

“Central and Eastern European countries, including the Republic of Serbia, are mostly dependent on imports for oil and gas supplies. That is why safety is one of the most important issues.”

“Serbia depends on oil and gas imports. We cannot divide countries when it comes to energy, because we must act together in all regions,” he said.

Serbia expects a second branch of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline to go through its territory and through the Western Balkans, Vucic said in his address to the WPC.

“Considering the fact that the Turkish Stream pipeline is currently under construction, Serbia expects an agreement under which one branch will go through the territories of Serbia and Western Balkan countries – of course, that option is in the interest of Serbia and other countries in the region,” Tanjug reported the president as saying.