Iraq, Qatar, UAE, Türkiye unite for connecting Persian Gulf to Europe
    Quadrilateral MoU inked

    WORLD  23 April 2024 - 11:49

     The Turkish president's ongoing visit to Iraq has given a boost the Development Road project that would connect the Persian Gulf to Europe via Türkiye, amid close collaboration between Ankara and Baghdad.

    Under the auspices of the Turkish president and Iraqi premier, a quadrilateral memorandum of understanding regarding cooperation in the Development Road project was signed between Iraq, Türkiye, Qatar, UAE on April 22, according to TRT World.

    "I believe that my visit and agreements just signed will constitute new turning point in Türkiye-Iraq relations," Erdogan said.

    The project is a critical agenda item during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Baghdad and Erbil after 13 years.

    The relations between Türkiye and Iraq are solidifying with recent high-level visits. The construction of the Grand Faw Port in Basra, southern Iraq, aiming to be the largest port in the Middle East and scheduled for completion in 2025, is underway at full speed.

    The port, which is part of the first phase of the Development Road project, is located at the mouth of the Shatt al Arab, where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers converge before flowing into the sea.

    New gateway for regional trade

    The project encompasses railway and highway lines extending from the port through the cities of Diwaniyah, Najaf, Karbala, Baghdad, and Mosul to the Turkish border, aiming to provide access from the Turkish border to Mersin Port and onward to Europe via Istanbul by road.

    Italian company PEG Infrastructure is responsible for the design of the route traversed by the project, which will enter Türkiye via Ovakoy after Mosul.

    Connecting the Grand Faw Port to the Turkish border with a 1200-kilometre railway and highways, the project will open a new gateway for regional trade.

    Through the project, Iraq and Türkiye aim to reduce travel time between Asia and Europe and become transit hubs.

    Expecting to surpass the 67-berth Jebel Ali Port in Dubai, known as the largest container port in the Middle East, the Grand Faw Port with its capacity of 90 berths is planned to be completed by 2025.

    Potential business opportunities

    The Development Road project, reaching from the port to the Turkish border, is seen as an alternative option in possible regional conflicts or wars since China's Silk Road does not pass directly through Iraq.

    Upon completion of the project, it is estimated that shipments that currently take approximately 45 days from the Cape of Good Hope and around 35 days from the Red Sea could be completed in just 25 days.

    Incorporating highways, railways, energy transmission, and communication lines and planned to be completed in three stages set for 2028, 2033, and 2050, the project will influence a vast region from Europe to the Gulf countries.

    While the trade volume between Türkiye and Iraq has exceeded $24 billion, the potential business opportunities offered by the project are promising, and upon its completion, all stakeholders are expected to reap significant economic benefits.

    Caliber.Az

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