Iraq’s Ministry of Transport has revealed its plans to finalize bilateral agreements pertaining to the highly anticipated Development Road project with Turkey. A significant step towards enhancing regional connectivity and economic growth, these agreements are poised to bring substantial benefits to Iraq, Turkey, and the wider international community.
Over the weekend, a delegation from Iraq’s Transport Ministry embarked on a visit to the Turkish capital, Ankara, engaging in pivotal discussions with counterparts from Turkey’s Ministry of Transport.
The focal point of these discussions centered around the ambitious Development Road initiative and its profound economic implications for the nations involved as well as the broader global landscape, as reported by the Iraqi News Agency (INA).
It is anticipated that these discussions will pave the way for crucial bilateral accords, overseen by Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani. The talks encompassed diverse topics, including Turkey’s railway system and its strategic plans for enhancing maritime and rail transportation operations, not only with Iraq but also spanning the globe.
Turkey’s commitment to the Development Road was confirmed by their representatives during the discussions, highlighting their keen interest in supporting this transformative project. The Iraqi delegation, in turn, provided a comprehensive overview of the project’s significance, outlining its key phases, specifications, station count, and communication network.
At the heart of this endeavor is a railway that will traverse ten Iraqi governorates, establishing a vital link between the Al-Faw Grand Port in southern Iraq and the Turkish territories.
The Turkish delegation underscored their ongoing efforts to construct a 133-kilometer railway connecting the Turkish rail network to the Iraqi-Turkish border, thereby facilitating a connection between the Al-Faw Grand Port and Europe.
The Development Road, previously referred to as the “dry canal,” is a strategic enterprise envisioned by the Iraqi government, uniting the Al-Faw Grand Port in southern Iraq with Turkish territories through an intricate network of railways and roadways. Spanning an impressive 1,200 kilometers from the southern Al-Faw port town to the northern Iraqi governorate of Duhok’s Faysh Khabur town, this project is set to reshape regional transportation dynamics.
“Notably, the Development Road incorporates an electrified railway that will span through ten Iraqi governorates, revolutionizing trade and connectivity. Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, during a joint press conference in March with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, hailed the Development Road as a global corridor for goods and energy transportation”.
“Highlighting the project’s scope, Al-Sudani emphasized a railway system designed to transport goods, boasting a staggering 3.5 million-ton capacity in its initial phase, with expansion plans reaching up to 7.5 million tons in the subsequent phase. In addition to the railway, the project envisions a land transportation highway, energy pipelines, the Al-Faw Grand Port, and an expansive industrial city—poised to rank among the largest in the Middle East”.
“Foreseeing a multitude of opportunities, Prime Minister Al-Sudani expressed optimism about the project’s potential to generate employment within Iraq and neighboring nations, foster industrial growth, and attract global trade. As both countries prepare to solidify their cooperation, the Development Road project holds the promise of a brighter economic and infrastructural future for the region and beyond”.