By Nayla Razzouk
May 29, 2011
Jordan and Iraq signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a rail line linking the Jordanian Red Sea port of Aqaba with the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, Petra said, citing Jordanian Transport Minister Muhannad Qudah.
The agreement for a line that would provide passenger and cargo services was signed by Qudah and visiting Iraqi Transport Minister Hadi al-Ameri in Amman today, the Jordanian official agency said. There were no further details on the project. Those will be decided later by a joint committee, Petra said.
Jordan has plans for a $3.1 billion rail network running 950 kilometers (590 miles) to connect the kingdom with Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is due to start the first bids for the project by the end of June, Qudah said April 11.
Jordan’s government will provide 370 million dinars ($522 million) for the project and potential lenders include the World Bank, European Investment Bank, France’s state-run Agence Francaise de Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the Saudi Fund for Development, the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development, the Kuwait-based Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Germany’s state-owned development bank KfW, he said.