Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Bulgaria, Turkey, Qatar agree to build highway | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria, Turkey and Qatar have agreed to form a common project company to build a highway on the Bulgarian territory, the construction ministry said after a trilateral meeting on Thursday.

The 300-km highway will connect the Danube River town of Ruse, bordering Romania, with the southern town of Svilengrad, bordering Balkan neighbours Greece and Turkey.

“As decided at the meeting of the prime ministers of Bulgaria, Qatar and Turkey, we held a technical meeting over the construction of the Ruse-Svilengrad highway under the principle of the public-private partnership,” Construction Minister Lilyana Pavlova told a news conference.

Last week, the premiers of the three countries agreed to study joint infrastructure projects, including construction of a new motorway that would connect the Danube River bridge with Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city.

Pavlova said the road is expected to be completed in four years, and to cost around 1.5 billion levs $965.03 million (616 million pounds).

“This is not an EU-backed project,” said Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov. “It will be realized as a joint project with the participation of the three countries.”

Last Thursday, Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim al-Thani said the cash-rich country would deposit $200 million at the Bulgarian Central bank as a guarantee that it is serious about investing in the Balkan state.

Qatar said it would invest 100 million euros (US$127.08 million) over a year in agriculture, tourism, infrastructure and other projects in Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest member state.