The President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, proposed during his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to complete the preparations related to the project on paper within 60 days
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan affirmed that the UAE President, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, adopts a very determined stance regarding the ‘Development Road’ project, which extends from the port of Faw in the south of Iraq to Turkish territories in the north, encompassing all Gulf countries.
Erdoğan added, during his responses to journalists’ questions following his visit to the Azerbaijani region of Nakhchivan on Monday, that the President of the UAE proposed during their recent meeting to finalize the preparations related to completing the project on paper within 60 days.
The UAE expressed its serious desire to participate in the vital ‘Development Road’ project, which is of great importance to all countries in the region. They see it as an important and strategic project that forms the vital and essential link for all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the world, viewing the project from a perspective of integration, not just economics.
The Development Road aims to connect the rich oil-rich port of Faw in southern Iraq to Turkey, transforming the country into a transit hub, significantly reducing travel time between Asia and Europe.
Since Iraq announced the project in May of last year, the UAE has recommended the formation of technical committees from the participating countries in the project to outline the nature and extent of participation in this vital strategic project. They aim to benefit from the experience of the Gulf Railway Authority, which was recently established to coordinate among the GCC member states in monitoring the implementation and operation of the GCC railway project as a single, integrated, and interoperable regional railway network, connecting all GCC member countries with effective and secure railway operations.
Arab countries and regional countries surrounding Iraq have shown interest in this project, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Iran.
President Erdoğan mentioned that the United States, Japan, India, and China have their own special approaches to the ‘Development Road’ project.
He confirmed that the Turkish Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure has immediately initiated necessary discussions with relevant parties, with the aim of commencing the project on the ground.
Erdoğan also spoke about attempts by some to incite discord, emphasizing that Turkey will focus on steps that contribute to finding solutions.
He stated that the ‘Development Road’ project will be the first step in the development ray that will eliminate the dark spots in the region, emphasizing that “Turkey stands at the heart of this project, which I hope will have a positive outcome.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa Al-Sudani stated that the government is pursuing a policy of economic integration with the UAE, confirming Iraq’s openness to Emirati companies and businessmen to work within the country.
The ‘Development Road’ project starts from Basra in the far south of Iraq, passing through ten Iraqi provinces, reaching Turkey, and from there to Europe. It transforms Iraq into a major trade hub and a major transport station between Asia and Europe, reducing sea travel time from 33 to 15 days.
Among its advantages, it connects trade from the east to the west, and annual profits are expected to reach around 4 billion dollars, in addition to providing 100,000 job opportunities. The cost of the project is estimated at 17 billion dollars, with 10 billion allocated for the purchase of high-speed electric trains capable of transporting goods within 16 hours, and the remaining funds are used to extend the railway network by 1,200 kilometers.
According to the Iraqi Ministry of Transport, the project is expected to be completed by 2028, and its completion rate has currently reached 40 percent from its starting point at the large port of Faw.
The maximum capacity of the large Faw port is about 3.5 million equivalent units according to the expected horizon in 2028, while it will reach about 7.5 million equivalent units according to the expected horizon in 2038.
The ‘Development Road’ project and the dry canal are not just for Iraq and Turkey but for the world and the region, connecting the east to the west and serving as a global passage for transporting goods. There will be a railway line, land transportation lines, and the large Faw port, the largest port in the Middle East, and the energy industrial city, which will be one of the largest industrial cities in the Middle East.”