A proposed land border crossing between Bahrain and Qatar has received a fresh boost as officials from two sides have agreed to restructure the board of the project as part of its implementation.

This was discussed during the fourth meeting of the Bahrain-Qatari Follow-up Committee held in Manama.

The Bahrain delegation was headed by Foreign Ministry’s Political Affairs Under-Secretary Dr Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, while the Qatari delegation was led by its Foreign Ministry’s secretary general Dr Ahmed Al Hammadi.

“The meeting discussed topics on its agenda and agreed to restructure the board of directors of the Qatar-Bahrain causeway in line with the directives of the leaderships of two countries,” said a statement yesterday. “The step is expected to have positive outcomes for both nations.”

The GDN has reported on repeated talks between authorities for a causeway linking Bahrain and Qatar, also referred to as the Friendship Bridge.

Negotiations on the causeway began in 2009 but later stalled with it resuming again in 2013. In November of that year the Bahrain-Qatar Causeway Authority commissioned consultants to review designs for the 40km structure – which could be the world’s longest man-made bridge. The project cost is still unknown.

The route will connect northern Qatar with Bahrain’s eastern coast and travel time is expected to be 30 minutes.

Bahrain-Qatar Causeway is among the most important strategic projects planned to promote GCC economic development, strengthen ties between the people of the two countries and boost the pace of GCC integration.

“The proximity of Bahrain to Qatar and the dynamism of both economies make them structurally logical trading partners, and this is reinforced by the warmth of cultural ties between the two nations,” Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat), studies and research director Dr Omar Alubaydli told the GDN yesterday.

“Building a causeway that links both countries will provide a timely economic boost to both sides, while also improving energy and food security at a time when global trade routes are under strain.”

The GDN reported in November that the project was discussed during a meeting between His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, and Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani at Gudaibiya Palace. Both parties directed the concerned authorities to complete the necessary plans to initiate the implementation of the project.

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