By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - 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 Tasyapi signed a contract with the Serbian government for the highway.
Turkey sees the highway's role as a guarantor for peace in the region.
The project was brought up more than two years ago, but it hit a snag over its route, with 16 different paths proposed.
While Serbia wanted the road 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 Erdogan, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, and former Bosniak Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegovic.
With Erdogan’s support, the proposals of both sides were accepted, through building the highway via two different routes.