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Talks on Development Road Project ongoing: President Erdoğan

The ministerial discussions regarding the Development Road Project, a massive infrastructure project pitched as a link between Asia and Europe, are ongoing, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Thursday on a return from a visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt.

Answering journalists’ questions Erdoğan said, “The Development Road Project is a massive project involving the UAE administration, Iraq and us. There is sensitivity regarding northern Iraq in this project. We also have our own sensitivities. Therefore, we are taking our steps.”

The planned project, which was often on the agenda over recent months, aims to tie the Grand Faw Port, a major commodities port in Iraq’s oil-rich south, to the border with Türkiye and then to Europe through a network of railways and highways. It is expected to involve the construction of about 1,200 kilometers (about 745 miles) of railways and highways.

Indicating that this was one of the topics when they met with the Abu Dhabi administration, Erdoğan said they aimed to “put this on the right track in the most ideal way.”

“Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates, proposed in our previous meeting, ‘Let’s set a timeframe of about 60 days and let all our colleagues and relevant departments move beyond the planning phase and start the project design phase,'” Erdoğan said, adding the talks over the project are underway.

“Currently, our minister of transportation, Abdulkadir Uraloğlu, continues his discussions with his counterparts. Hopefully, these efforts will transition from project to implementation, with Türkiye, the UAE and Iraq as the main actors,” he noted.

“We will continue our work in this way. This road will become a new Silk Road for our region and will also serve regional peace. This road, which will provide access to the European market through Türkiye for the countries around the Persian Gulf, is truly a ‘win-win’ project.”

Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan earlier also evaluated the initiative, highlighting the importance of regional projects, while recalling the endorsement by Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as well.

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