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Southeast Europe: Officials Plan For Trans-Balkan Highway

By Anthony Georgiev

Sofia, 11 July 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The deputy foreign ministers of Bulgaria, Italy, Macedonia and Albania today agreed to intensify work on a highway-ferry project that would link Bulgaria's Black Sea coast with Italy's Adriatic coast.

Our correspondent in Sofia says the officials have agreed that experts working on the plan should meet in Rome in September with representatives of international financial institutions to finalize details.

Transport ministers of the four countries hope to sign final documentation at an October meeting in Skopje. The project calls for the construction of a highway across Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania with ferry terminals in both Albania and Italy to complete the link. The proposal is part of a broader infrastructure and communications project that calls for common telecommunications and electrical power networks in southeastern Europe.