The $17bn Development Road rail and shipping link connecting Turkey, Iraq, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates has taken a step further in its development after the four countries signed a joint co-operation agreement for the project. 

Signing of the memorandum of understanding took place at a ceremony in Baghdad, Iraq during a visit by Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, who oversaw the proceedings alongside Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed S. Al Sudani. 

Speaking during his trip, President Erdoğan said: “The Turkish government intends to continue to offer assistance to Iraq to ensure that the project is completed as soon as possible and that the region has achieved its economic and development objectives.” 

Lead by Iraq, the $17bn mega-project will link up the in-development Grand Faw Port at the Al Faw peninsula in Iraq to Turkey with a 1,200km road and rail connection that the countries hope will deliver them more trading power by linking Europe and the Middle East

The Development Road link will go through the major Iraqi cities of Diwaniyah, Najaf, Karbala, Basra, Baghdad and Mosul before going over the border to Turkey and connecting to the rest of Europe, possibly via Turkey’s Mersin Port. 

While work on the project has already begun in Iraq, this latest agreement will provide a boost to its development, which could be hindered by its significantly high costs that will likely need to be partially funded by foreign investments.

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