Iraq: “Development Road” is an economic integration project

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Iraqi Transport Minister Razzaq Al-Saadawi said on Monday that the development road project, which will connect Iraq to Europe via Turkey, is an “economic integration” project for the countries participating in it.

The Iraqi minister explained in an interview while receiving a delegation consisting of academics, journalists, and businessmen that the countries participating in the international trade project between Asia and Europe are working to set technical standards and study financial alternatives.

Al-Saadawi stated that the Grand Al-Faw Port is considered the starting point of the project, as it is being built on an area of ​​54 square kilometers and will be the largest port in the region when completed.

He added: The port will begin operating in mid-2025 and will include a large military base, petrochemical refineries, natural gas storage facilities, and water treatment facilities.

He pointed out that residential and industrial areas will be established around the port, making it the largest industrial and tourist area in the Middle East.

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He explained that the Italian company “PEG Infrastructure” is conducting feasibility studies regarding the path of the development road project, which will connect it to the Turkish border with a length of 1,200 kilometers, starting from the Grand Port.

He added that the highway plan being built within the project has been completed, 65 percent of it, pointing out that the total cost of the railway and land road is about 17 billion dollars.

The Iraqi minister stated that the first meeting of the transport ministers of the four countries (Iraq, Turkey, Qatar and the UAE) will be held in the coming days.

He continued, “Iraq and Turkey have privileges in terms of geographical location, and this will be used for the benefit of the two peoples.”

On April 22, Turkey, Iraq, Qatar, and the UAE signed in Baghdad a four-way memorandum of understanding for cooperation on the “Development Road” project, under the auspices of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia’ al-Sudani.