Iraq could resort to foreign sources to fund a multi-billion-dollar project to build a1,200-kilometre with neighbouring Turkey, the official Alsabah newspaper said on Monday.

The project, which also involves the construction of a parallel motorway, could be partially be offered to foreign investors to secure funds, the paper said, quoting Mudhar Saleh, a financial advisor to the Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani.

Saleh said the project, dubbed “The Development Road” is one of the most important construction schemes to be executed by Iraq.

“This project could be carried out with the help of investors…in this case, there is a need for an international consortium to provide funding before we start awarding contracts to global companies and contractors,” Saleh said.

Officials said in May that the rail and road network linking Faw Port in South Iraq with Turkey could cost nearly $17 billion. The rail project, which involves electric high speed trains for freight and passengers, is expected to cost around $10.5 billion while the 1200-km (725 mile) motorway will cost $6.5 billion, they said, adding that it could be completed in 2028.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)