The UAE, Qatar and Turkey could join a mega project in Iraq for the construction of a 1,200-km rail line linking Southern Iraq to Europe via Turkey, an Iraqi official said on Monday.

An agreement could be signed by the four countries during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Iraq, government spokesman Bassim Al-Awadi said.

“I believe an agreement will be signed between Iraq and the UAE, Qatar and Turkey during Erdogan’s visit for the Development Road project,” he told the official Iraqi News Agency.

Awadi did not provide details of such an accord but Iraqi officials have visited several regional countries over the past month to invite them to contribute to that project, which is expected to cost nearly $17 billion.

Iraqi officials have said the Development Road, which also includes the contraction of a parallel motorway, would be completed in 2029 and would largely reduce shipping costs and time.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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