Photograph: Ilustracija

Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina fully support the implementation of current infrastructure projects that should contribute to better transport connectivity between the two countries and have agreed to models and construction specifications for the Peljesac bridge.

These were the conclusions of a meeting on Tuesday in Sarajevo between Croatian Deputy Foreign and European Affairs Minister Zdravka Busic and Bosnia's Deputy Minister of Transport and Communication Sasa Dalipagic.

As was confirmed after the meeting, the main topics discussed were the construction of bridges across the Sava River at Gradiska and another at Svilaj, as well as the construction of the Peljesac bridge that would connect the southernmost part of Croatia with the rest of the country.

Bosnia has completed procedures to approve plans for the bridge across the Sava River at Svilaj on the Vc corridor, which means that the relevant permits have been issued. 

A draft agreement has been prepared for the construction of the bridge and once it is checked against legislative regulations and provisions, a tender should be submitted to the Bosnian ombudsman for assessment which should then be followed by the signing of the agreement, a joint press release says.

The two officials also discussed the construction of the bridge between the two countries at Gradiska, and Busic said that Croatia has completed an environment impact study and that this has been forwarded to Bosnian authorities. Busic and Dalipagic underscored that it was in the common interest of the two countries to implement these two projects as soon as possible.

With regard to the Peljesac bridge, Dalipagic stressed that it was important for this issue to be analysed by experts and not politicians. Bosnia considers that it is necessary to respect international standards and regulations to ensure Bosnia's access to the high seas.

Busic said that this was one of Croatia's most significant infrastructure projects and is estimated to be worth 426 million euro and that Croatia was determined to respect all standards and assured that Bosnia and Herzegovina would have access to the high seas.

Dalipagic and Busic confirmed that both countries are interested in reviving the Una railway which is the shortest rail route between Croatia's capital Zagreb and the southern coastal city of Split. The railway has been out of use since the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia and is problematic because it crosses the international border between the two countries in several spots and so enquiries are being made how to resolve this problem which depends on investments into the railway's reconstruction.

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