ZAGREB, Oct 9 (Croatia Sun News) – “When you connect people, they think about a better life and a different standard of living instead of how to argue,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in Belgrade on Tuesday after a meeting between Serbia, Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina, noting that “for the first time today maps were outlined to draw highways and railways” connecting people in the region.
The Serbian president played host to talks between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency members Zeljko Komsic, Milorad Dodik and Sefik Dzaferovic. After the meeting, the two presidents and the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency members will participate in a ceremony to launch work on a €250 million section of a future Belgrade-Sarajevo motorway, to be built by a Turkish company.
“I believe that we all watched these maps with satisfaction. When you connect people, they think much more about living standards than about how to argue,” Vucic said after the trilateral meeting, thanking Erdogan for his engagement in stabilising relations in the Balkans.
The Turkish head of state, who since Monday has been on a visit to Serbia, his second in the last two years, described the trilateral meeting as fruitful and announced that the next one would be held in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the one after that in Turkey.
We are determined to continue the trilateral mechanism, he said.
The Turkish president was confident of improved relations between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and noted that the most important aspect of trilateral meetings was their referring to the entire region, stressing that the Belgrade-Sarajevo motorway would bring Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina even closer and encourage many positive developments in the future, including putting an end to emigration and making the region more attractive.
Erdogan also said that problems with government formation in Sarajevo had to be resolved as soon as possible as without a government the country could not operate efficiently or make decisions.
The three members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina were agreed that the Belgrade-Sarajevo motorway would improve communication between the two countries, with Dodik describing trilateral meetings as a “good forum and a good model of cooperation”, expressing readiness to continue participating in the current format of meetings.
He noted that the Turkish president’s statement about the need to avoid any ethnic conflicts and build peace in the region were acceptable to everyone. “We want it and are acting to make it happen,” he said.
Dzaferovic suggested a more intensive cooperation between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina institutions to facilitate the settlement of outstanding issues in their relations.
Komsic pointed to new ideas that had emerged about new infrastructure projects to develop the railway network, saying that they “are indeed expensive but are useful” because they connect the two countries along routes that either lacked adequate traffic infrastructure or were congested.
After the trilateral meeting in Belgrade, the state delegations of Serbia, Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina are expected to attend the launching of work on the section of the Belgrade-Sarajevo motorway running from Kuzmin to Raca, on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. From the border, the motorway is to run further towards Bijeljina, Brcko and Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina.