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Can Turkey, Iraq pull off 'Dry Canal' project?

While experts believe the ‘Dry Canal’ project involving road and rail networks faces an uphill battle, the initiative seems to stand a better chance than its alternatives.
China Railway Express Chang'an freight train arrives at the Ankara train station, Turkey, on November 6, 2019. The first freight train, "Trans-Caspian China Railway Express", departing from China and going to Europe by using Marmaray, was sent off at Ankara Station.

ANKARA — As security concerns over the Red Sea have expedited the so-called Dry Canal project aiming to connect the Persian Gulf to Turkey, experts believe implementation of the initiative faces an uphill battle.

The initiative, which is also known as “Development Road,” aims to connect Iraq’s Grand Port at Al-Faw near the Persian Gulf to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast and then to Europe via new rail and road networks.

The initiative was also among the issues discussed between Turkish, Iraqi, Emirati and Iraqi Kurdish officials earlier this week during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visit to the United Arab Emirates on Feb. 12-13. 

“The Development Road is a giant project in which the UAE, Iraq and we are also involved,” Erdogan told journalists on his return from the visit, adding that the talks about the initiative were ongoing. 

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