News   /   Conversations   /   Iraq   /   Interviews

Iraq’s $17bn transport project to create ‘economic convergence’ in Mideast: Analyst

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

By Ali Ghorban Bagheri

The “Development Road” conference, held in Baghdad with the aim of expanding regional cooperation on road and rail infrastructure, will lead to economic convergence in West Asia, and foil the US and Israeli plots to disrupt economic ties in the strategic region, says an Iraqi political analyst.

The conference, chaired by Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, was convened on Saturday with the presence of transport ministry representatives from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Oman.

Sudani announced Iraq’s launch of a $17-billion road and rail project that links Europe with the Persian Gulf and other West Asian countries.

In an exclusive interview with Press TV’s website, Muayid Ali underlined the urgent need to pay attention to development-oriented plans and projects in Iraq as they would help strengthen the Arab country’s economy and improve its geographical standing.

Ali praised the $17-billion project as a “right step” to connect south of Iraq to the north and then connect the Arab country to Turkey and Europe.

The political analyst said holding the Development Road conference in Baghdad was very important as it would bring about cooperation in and investment for the countries of the region, adding that it was an important step to realize economic synergy between the regional countries in the face of global challenges.

Responding to a question about possible measures by the US and Israel in creating obstacles to holding such meetings, Ali said, “The US’s first goal is to guarantee its interests in the region. Meanwhile, Israel's goal is to preoccupy the countries of the region with economic and non-economic problems in order to divert attention from the main problem of the Islamic Ummah, which is Palestine.”

Stressing that the US and Israel create obstacles in the way of any plan that benefits the regional countries, Ali said, “We should not forget that the US is currently busy with the issue of Russia and Ukraine and also confronting its strategic enemy, which is China.”

The Iraqi analyst also said that Israel is plagued by internal crises and suffering from political and social divisions.

Ali said in his exclusive interview with Press TV’s website that all these factors call on  the countries in the region to pay attention to their strengths to move forward, regardless of the US and its hegemony.

The Iraqi political commentator also underlined, “One should be alert to the efforts of the US and Israel to disrupt any development project.”

Speaking at the Development Road conference in Baghdad on Saturday, the spokesperson of the Iraqi government announced that the time required to complete the project is four years, starting from 2024 and ending in 2028.

The spokesman added that the mission of the development road project is to transport goods from Europe to Turkey through Iraq and to the Arab countries across the Persian Gulf.                                                           

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku