Published: 2023-05-27 18:09
Last Updated: 2023-09-29 10:15
Saturday, Iraq presented a plan to turn itself into a regional transportation hub by developing its road and rail infrastructure, linking Europe with the Middle East.
Once completed, the USD 17 billion project, known as the "Route of Development," would span the length of the country, stretching 1,200 kilometers from the northern border with Turkey to the Gulf in the south.
Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani announced the project during a conference with transport ministry representatives from Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
"We see this project as a pillar of a sustainable non-oil economy, a link that serves Iraq's neighbors and the region, and a contribution to economic integration efforts," Sudani said.
While further discussions are required, any country that wishes "will be able to carry out part of the project", the Iraqi parliament's transport committee said, adding the project could be completed in "three to five years".
"The Route of Development will boost interdependence between the countries of the region," Turkey's ambassador to Baghdad Ali Riza Guney said, without elaborating on what role his country would play in the project.