Trilateral meeting in Belgrade was free of tensions, according to Bosnia Presidency member Sefik Dzaferovic who returned from the Serbian capital after the meeting he and other two Presidency members, Milorad Dodik and Zeljko Komsic, held with Turkish and Serbian counterparts on Tuesday.
“I am satisfied with the meeting and atmosphere before and after the meeting. We opened some very important issues that concern our three countries. The goal of that meeting was to see what are our joint projects and what is in common to all three countries,” Dzaferovic said in an interview with N1.
Belgrade-Sarajevo highway construction was among the main topics discussed in the meeting besides other infrastructural projects.
“Republic of Turkey can help a lot owing to the good bilateral relations with all countries in the region. The atmosphere was expectable, there were no tensions, and some sort of cooperation has been announced. Bosnia and Herzegovina should establish quality bilateral relations with its neighbours, solve open issues on the principle of mutual respect. What matters the most is that the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its institutions should communicate with our neighbours. No matter can be solved without the state,” he underlined.
Bosnia and Serbia have many open issues to solve, such as the issue of state borders, migrations, and fugitives who were sentenced for war crimes, he emphasised, adding that the dialogue is the key to the solution.
“I believe that the time of intensive dialogue between the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia is coming. I expect the same with the Republic of Croatia, Montenegro, all our neighbours,” said the Presidency member.
Bosnia's internal problems, mainly the formation of the state-level government, was not the subject of the meeting, Dzaferovic said, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan only briefly mentioned it as an obstacle to starting a more efficient work.
“We want to discuss the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina only in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but we did mention it during lunch. Erdogan said it is necessary to solve the government formation issue,” he explained.
“I expect Mr Dodik to understand the messages from yesterday's meeting and that he starts acting the same way in his statements. So, that we give statements which will calm the situation down and help solve the problems,” he added.
As for the construction of the highway, which will connect the Bosnian and Serbian capital cities and which Turkey promised to financially support, Dzaferovic noted that certain progress has been made.
“The Presidency defined the final route of the highway, a discussion (on this matter) was ongoing for several years. This Presidency also concluded a memorandum on the highway construction with the Republic of Turkey and tasked the Council of Ministers to put into operation this project. A lot more could have been done and we are aware of that. I think that some steps forward have been made,” he said.
Erdogan, his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic and the three members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina attended on Tuesday the ceremony at the border town of Sremska Raca on the banks of the Sava river, which marked the start of the highway construction.