Officials of Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday finally agreed on a route for a highway linking Sarajevo to Belgrade, Serbia's capital.
Milorad Dodik, chairman of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency, announced the final deal after meeting with the relevant ministers.
"We agreed that a single section to be officially submitted will be drawn on the map in the next seven days," Dodik told a press conference after the meeting. Dodik said the entire project will cost nearly $3.41 billion and Turkey is ready to provide the necessary funds, seeing it as a project for peace. "I can say that the route will go from Raca via Bijeljina, then across Brcko and Loncar, down to Sarajevo, through Tuzla and Zepce, next to Pale, Rogatic and Visegrad, where a connection is made for Gorazde. We will connect to Serbia at Vardiste near Visegrad," he explained.
In December 2018 Turkey's Taşyapi Group signed a contract with the Serbian government for the highway. Turkey sees the highway's role as a guarantor for peace in the region. Although the project was brought up more than two years ago, the relevant authorities could not agree on the route stemming from the duality in Bosnia-Herzegovina's administration, with one side wanting the highway to run through the Tuzla province, while the other insisting on the Visegrad province. Consequently, with the support of President Erdoğan, the proposals of both sides have been accepted.
However, the dispute over the routes ended following a meeting in Turkey between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and former Bosniak Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegovic.