tomislav karamarko.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Dario GRZELJ / mm

First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko on Tuesday said in the Bosnia and Herzegovina border town of Ivanica not far from Dubrovnik that Bosnia and Herzegovina was a primary interest for Croatia and expressed his expectation that the economic recovery Croatia was experiencing would be reflected on the quality of life for Croats living in that country.

"Bosnia and Herzegovina is a primary transport, economic and security interest. We absolutely support building bridges and particularly in raising the quality of life," Karamarko said heading a government delegation to Dubrovnik-Neretva County and the southern Croatian coastal city of Dubrovnik where he met with the Croat member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency Dragan Covic.

Karamarko underscored that Croatia is prepared to help raise the quality of life in Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly Croats who are a constituent people in that country.

"Croatia is about to experience economic recovery. I believe that in some way that will spill over to Bosnia and Herzegovina. We simply have to fight for the quality of life," he added.

He said that Zagreb would like to discuss with officials from Bosnia and Herzegovina  how to stop the trend of young people emigrating.

Asked about the bridge across the Sava River in Svilaj, Karamarko said that it is necessary to build "bridges in every regard, symbolically and in reality."

Covic expressed his expectations that the governments of the two countries would soon embark on the construction of important infrastructure projects such as the Svilaj bridge but also the upgrade of the border crossings between the two countries at Ivanica and Doljani.

"We have a lot of problems in communications that we can address. We wish to create an ambience for investments but also to make life easier for the people who live here and open the door to everyone who sees their future here," Covic said.

Covic underscored that Ivanica and the Ravno municipality which are within reach of Dubrovnik have a lot of unused potential such as the Vjetrenica caves which will be open to visitors once again as of today.

This is a huge opportunity to develop this region, he said.

Vjetrenica is one of the most important caves in the Dinaric Alps mountain range, which is famous worldwide for its karst and speleological features.

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