Bulgaria, Turkey, Qatar agree to build highway

Bulgaria, Turkey, Qatar agree to build highway

SOFIA - Reuters
Bulgaria, Turkey, Qatar agree to build highway

PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R) with Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov (C) and Qatar PM El Tani (L) at a May 18 meeting in the Bulgarian city of Varna. DHA photo

Bulgaria, Turkey and Qatar have agreed to form a common project company to build a highway on Bulgarian territory, the Bulgarian minister of regional development and public works said after a trilateral meeting May 24. 

The cost of the four-year project is estimated at $965 million.

The highway is planned to connect the city of Ruse by the Danube River bordering Romania to the city of Svilengrad right by the point where the borders of Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria meet.

“As decided at the meeting of the prime ministers of Bulgaria, Qatar and Turkey, we held a technical meeting over the construction of the Ruse-Svilengrad highway under the principle of the public-private partnership,” Construction Minister Lilyana Pavlova told a news conference.

Last week, the premiers of the three countries agreed to study joint infrastructure projects, including construction of a new motorway that would connect the Danube River Bridge to Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city.

Pavlova said the road is expected to be completed in four years, and will cost around 1.5 billion levs ($965.03 million).

“This is not an EU-backed project,” said Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov. “It will be realized as a joint project with the participation of the three countries.”

Last Thursday, Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim al-Thani said the cash-rich country would deposit $200 million into the Bulgarian central bank as a guarantee that it is serious about investing in the Balkan state.

Qatar said it would invest 100 million euros ($127.08 million) over a year in agriculture, tourism, infrastructure and other projects in Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest member state.