Iraq will this month sign agreements for the construction of a $17-billion rail line stretching from its southern part to the Northern border with Turkey, an adviser to the country’s Prime Minister was quoted on Friday as saying.

Nasser Al-Asadi, an adviser for transport, said there would be a series of meeting in Baghdad with representatives of several foreign companies which have expressed interest in taking part in the project dubbed “The Development Road.”

“President Mohammed Al-Sudani affirmed that some agreements will be signed during the meetings regarding the launching of the Development Road project,” Asadi told the official Iraqi news agency.

The official did not identify those signatories apart from saying several countries have expressed a desire to be involved in this project through their companies and embassies, including the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states as well as Turkey, Iran, China, Germany and Austria.

Asadi disclosed that there would be a separate meeting with a well-known international consultant who took part in the designs for Saudi Arabia’s Neom City.

“We will meet that consultant to discuss designs for the planned economic cities in Iraq...the name of this consultant will figure prominently in the Development Road project,” Asadi said, adding that project designs will be launched soon.

According to Asadi, the railway will start in Faw Port in Basra and will have a total length of around 1,200 kilometres to connect Iraq with a 2,000km rail line traversing Turkey towards Europe.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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