Iraq is talking to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries for the construction of a rail network linking them to its Southern Grand Faw Port, an Iraqi official was quoted on Monday as saying.

The plan will be part of a $17-billion project dubbed ‘The Development Road’ which involves the construction of a 1,200-km rail line and a motorway from the Port to the Northern border with Turkey, said Maytham Abdul Safi, Information Director at the Transport Ministry.

Safi said designs for part of The Development Road would be ready within a year and that several tenders would be issued after all designs are completed.

“This project involves building a rail and a motorway towards Turkey…but after the project and the Faw Port are completed, and in case there is surplus cargo at Faw and Umm Qasr ports, then we will consider building a rail line to link Faw with Gulf states….we are discussing this plan with them and we believe several countries wish to have a rail link with Iraq,” Safi told the official Iraqi news agency.

Safi noted that preliminary studies have indicated The Development Road will be completed in 2028, when Faw Port is commissioned.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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