Turkey's Taşyapı to build Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway
BELGRADE – Anadolu Agency
The governments of Turkey and Serbia on Dec. 19 signed a $285 million contract to build the Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway.
Turkey’s Transport and Infrastructure Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan held a bilateral meeting as well as a meeting between delegations with his Serbian counterpart Zorana Mihajlovic in the capital Belgrade.
The two ministers discussed the highway project which will connect the capital cities of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The meetings and signing ceremony were also attended by Serbia’s Deputy Premier Rasim Ljajic and Tanju Bilgiç, Turkey’s ambassador to Belgrade, Taşyapı company head Emrullah Turanlı and President of the Public Enterprise Roads of Serbia Zoran Drobnjak.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ljajic said the new contract is a result of the successful trilateral mechanism of Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Turkey.
Turhan said the contract plays an important role in developing the relations of the two countries and added: “This agreement signed here today is a very important beginning between two countries. Turkey gives great importance to Serbia for the region’s stability.”
At the ceremony, two more agreements were signed regarding the construction of the residences for security forces in the cities of Vranje and Nis.
The Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway project was brought up more than two years ago, but it hit a snag when relevant institutions could not agree on a route. The road dispute then brought 16 possible routes to the table.
While Serbia wanted the highway to run through eastern Bosnia, the Bosnian side wanted it to run through northeast Bosnia.
However, the dispute over the routes ended following a meeting in Turkey between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Former Bosniak Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegovic.
Consequently, with Erdoğan’s support, the proposals of both sides were accepted. An agreement was reached to build the highway via two different routes.