Erdoğan to attend groundbreaking ceremony of Sarajevo-Belgrade highway next week

HASAN AY
ISTANBUL
Published 05.10.2019 00:04

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is scheduled to pay an official visit to Serbia on Oct. 7-8, during which he will participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for an important part of the Belgrade-Sarajevo Highway, which has been dubbed "the peace road."

The construction of the Sremska Raca-Kuzmin section of the highway, which is being undertaken by the Turkish company Taşyapı, includes a bridge and will connect Serbia to Bosnia-Herzegovina via the northern line. It will be Turkey's most important and major project in Serbia. The Novi Pazar-Tutin highway rehabilitation project will also begin during this visit.

The second meeting of the Turkish-Serbian High Level Cooperation Council will also be held during Erdoğan's visit. The steps to be taken to achieve the goal of $5 billion in trade volume, which has grown to $1.2 billion with recently developed relations, will be discussed as well. Turkish and Serbian leaders will call on Turkish and Serbian businessmen for investments at a business forum as part of the visit.

During the visit, six factories, which went into service or expanded facilities after the president's visit in 2017, will be inaugurated, while one other will start construction.

A significant increase has been achieved in trade and economic relations between Turkey and Serbia in recent years. Turkish investment in Serbia has exceeded $200 million, from only $1 million in 2011. While Turkish companies employ about 10,000 people in Serbia, there are currently over 800 registered Turkish companies, large and small, in the country.

Erdoğan and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic are expected to discuss bilateral relations, as well as issues such as Turkey's EU accession process, the situation in the Balkans and the refugee issue.

The two-day visit will also include the Tripartite Leaders' Summit of Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. The members of Bosnia-Herzegovina's Presidential Council will also attend the summit, which is scheduled for Oct. 8.

During Erdoğan's visit, the Ram Fortress, a former Ottoman castle restored by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), and the Valide Sultan Mosque in Sjenica, as well as the court building in Novi Pazar, will be inaugurated. The openings will be launched via video conference during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Belgrade-Sarajevo Highway.

First lady Emine Erdoğan will inaugurate the Sokollu Mehmed Pasha Fountain and the small staircase in Belgrade Castle, which have been restored by TIKA. The first lady will also meet with the Serbian Environment Minister at the Belgrade Embassy, which is the first to implement the Zero Waste Project among Turkish missions around the world.

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