Iraqi Kurdistan pushes for inclusion in major Development Road Project: PM

Iraqi Kurdistan pushes for inclusion in major Development Road Project: PM

Shafaq News/ The Prime Minister of Kurdistan Region, Masrour Barzani, on Monday stressed the importance of the Region's participation in Iraq's ambitious Development Road project during a meeting with Turkiye's new Consul General, Erman Topcu.

Barzani highlighted the strategic significance of the project, which aims to link Iraq, Turkiye, and Europe through an extensive network of railways and highways.

He emphasized that Kurdistan and all Iraqi components should be included in this major infrastructure initiative, according to a statement released.

In his first official meeting, PM Barzani congratulated Topcu on his new role and underscored the need to strengthen bilateral relations based on mutual interests.

Topcu expressed pleasure at his new appointment and reiterated Turkiye's commitment to enhancing ties with the Kurdistan Region across various sectors.

The two officials addressed ongoing disputes between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraq's federal government, calling for the resumption of oil exports from the region.

On May 23, 2024, Kurdistan's Minister of Transport and Communications, Ano Jawhar, confirmed that the Development Road project would traverse the Kurdistan Region, extending to Turkiye and Europe.

The project, which includes both a highway and a railway, will span 1,200 kilometers inside Iraqi territory. It aims to facilitate the transport of goods between Europe and the Gulf countries, with an estimated investment of $17 billion. This includes $6.5 billion for the highway and $10.5 billion for the electric railway. The project is set to be completed in three phases, with the first phase expected by 2028, the second by 2033, and the final phase by 2050.

Upon completion, the Development Road project is projected to create about 100,000 jobs in its initial phase, potentially providing up to one million jobs.

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