Turkey Iraq MoU (Photo Prime Minister of Iraq's office)

ASIA: Turkey, Iraq, Qatar and the UAE have signed a memorandum of understanding to create the Development Road, a 1 200 km railway and road corridor which would link Al-Faw container port in the Iraqi city of Basra with Turkey.

The MoU was signed when Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Baghdad for meetings with Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammed S Al-Sudani during April.

‘The Development Road is not only to shorten distances but will turn into a bridge linking peoples’, said Al-Sudani.

Turkey’s Minister of Transport & Infrastructure Abdulkadir Uraloğlu said the Development Road would ‘provide uninterrupted transport to every country in Europe by road and rail from Al-Faw Port to London’, enabling freight to reach Europe up to 15 days faster than by sea.

Few details of the project have been confirmed, and there has been no public discussion of how it will be funded, but Uraloğlu confirmed that officials from the four countries are holding regular technical meetings.

The line is expected to broadly follow Iraq’s existing railways from Basra to Baghdad, Tikrit and Mosul.

From Mosul it would continue close to the Rabia border crossing with Syria, from where a new alignment would be constructed to the Turkish border crossing at Ovaköy, bypassing the existing route which passes through Syria.