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Iraq kickstarts railway project linking Baghdad to Turkish border

Work has started for the railway project [File Photo: Getty]

Date of publication: 21 December, 2020

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Iraq started operations to lay down a new railway network that expects to make it a conduit for goods from Australia and East Asia to Europe via Turkey.
Iraq kickstarted a railway project that would link its capital Baghdad to the Turkish border, the Iraqi minister of transport said on Sunday.

The railway passes through Mosul in the norther Nineveh governate before reaching Turkey, official INA news agency reported.

"The initial start-up operations for the project came after serious thought to restart the railway from Baghdad to Mosul and then to Turkey," minister Nasser Bandar said.

"Within two months the work will be completed," he said, adding that work to repair barrages destroyed by the Islamic State militant group had already commenced.

"The grand plan is to link the southern port of Faw with Turkey," he added.

The minister confirmed Baghdad's plans to purchase new trains for the network once the railway lines have been laid down.

Read also: Israel, EU discuss rail link between Mediterranean and Gulf states

Work for the project is being supported by Turkish and Chinese companies, Anadolu confirmed in a report in September.

It is hoped the new railway network would make Iraq a conduit for goods from Australia and East Asia to Europe, via Turkey.

Cargo would be unloaded in southern Iraqi ports, including Faw, before being transported onto the western world.

Iraq-Turkey trade currently stands at around $17 billion with plans to increase to some $20 billion, according to Anadolu.

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