US agrees to fund “peace highway” between Serbia and Kosovo

A number of US federal institutions have signed an agreement in principle to fund a "peace highway" between Serbia and Kosovo.

The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the US Export-Import Bank (Exim) signed letters of intent to finance a link between Nis in south-central Serbia and Pristina, the capital of Kosovo (pictured).

The move comes after the two countries, which fought a war between 1998 and 1999, signed a US-brokered economic normalisation agreement on 4 September.

Adam Boehler, the chief executive of the DFC, commented: "The peace highway will drive economic development and regional integration by connecting Nis and Pristina. It will also serve as a powerful symbol of the new, transformative relationship between these neighbouring countries."

The DFC and Exim plan to send delegations to Belgrade and Pristina later this month to advance work on the highway and other projects. DFC will also prepare to open a permanent office in Belgrade.

The two agencies will now conduct due diligence before formally agreeing finance.

The US created the DFC in December 2019 as an economic soft power tool to allow it to compete more effectively with China’s economic diplomacy in less developed countries.

Image: Pristina. Kosovo has completed two motorways in recent years (Arbenllapashtica/CC BY-SA 3.0)

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