UPDATES WITH MORE QUTOES FROM TURKISH PRESIDENT, REMARKS FROM SERBIAN PRESIDENT
By Diyar Guldogan and Talha Ozturk
ANKARA (AA) - The Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway will lead to "very important" developments between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
"...I believe that [the highway] will contribute to very very important improvements and developments between Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina," Erdogan said after the Turkey-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Serbia Trilateral Summit in Belgrade.
He said the highway will pave the way for productivity for the residents in the region.
"I always say that 'the road is life, the road is civilization. The construction of this highway [...] will make the settlement more productive and prevent migration from these areas," Erdogan said.
The president said the trilateral summit was "fruitful" and he announced that the next summit will be held in May next year.
"The most important aspect of the summit is the government issue in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A year has passed since (the elections in the country). It is not possible to achieve a fruitful future in a country where there is no government," said Erdogan.
Vucic praised Erdogan for playing a stabilizing role in the Balkans.
"I am grateful to Turkey and Erdogan for the undoubted stabilizing role in the Balkans. For the first time today, we were drawing lines and roads on maps [...] Everyone present at the trilateral meeting was happy to look at such maps," said Vucic.
He added that the projects will not only connect infrastructure, but also people in the region.
For his part, Serb member of Bosnia-Herzegovina's Presidential Council Milorad Dodik said the trilateral meeting discussed the highway linking Serbia and Bosnia, the TurkStream pipeline and the need for peacekeeping and stability in the region
Dodik said it is possible that a Council of Ministers between the three countries would be formed.
Bosniak member Sefik Dzaferovic said Turkey is a stabilizing factor in this region, adding numerous issues between Serbia and Bosnia need to be addressed bilaterally.
Croat member and the current Chairman of the Bosnia-Herzegovina's Presidential Council Zeljko Komsic said new ideas -- such as a railway infrastructure -- were also discussed at the meeting.
Later on Tuesday, Erdogan will attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway.