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On Friday (March 5, 2021), the Turkish ambassador to Baghdad, Fatih Yildiz, stressed the importance of the Ofakoy Point project, as well as the rail link between his country and Iraq .
"For a long period of time, negotiations are underway between Turkey and Iraq over the Ofakoy checkpoint project, which is scheduled to open on the Turkish-Iraqi border, as well as the construction of a railway line," Yildiz said in a press statement followed by IQ NEWS.
Yildiz commented on the situation around the project, the prospects for its implementation and its importance to the Turkish-Iraqi relations and the region as a whole, saying: “This is a 570 km long road running from Ofakoy on the Turkish border to the south. After this issue was put on the agenda of discussion, three governments in Iraq have changed, this project. "The long term has great strategic importance. Therefore, the decision to implement it requires a demonstration of political will."
He continued, "Earlier, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi made statements in support of this project, and in the meantime, Iraq is now preparing for elections again. It is very important that the new government shows a decisive approach in implementing this project."
The Turkish ambassador pointed out the importance of the position of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, saying: "Even if Baghdad takes a positive decision in this regard, the readiness of Erbil is also an important condition. It is necessary for the two parties to agree that this project is in the interest of Iraq. At the present time, there is no such thing." Mutual understanding. "
He added, "The Iraqi Minister of Transport visited Turkey with the Director General of the Railways Administration at the end of February. We are taking steps towards unifying the railways into a single transportation network. The Iraqi side has repaired the road leading to Mosul to a large extent, which was severely damaged during the occupation of ISIS. .
And if Baghdad showed the desire to build a road from the Rabia checkpoint to the Turkish border, we will quickly complete the construction of the line from Nusaybin to the Iraqi border.
Yildiz stressed that in the absence of the Ofakoy checkpoint, the two countries can also be linked by rail, but ideally, a checkpoint must be opened at their point of contact .
The Turkish ambassador indicated that thanks to such projects, economic recovery will come in the region, and he concluded that this recovery, in turn, "will contribute to establishing stability in the region, especially in Sinjar and Mosul, the most important thing is to take the first step."
The road is scheduled to extend through the Ofakoy checkpoint, which will connect Turkey and Iraq, to the Gulf, and will become an alternative to the currently operating Khabur checkpoint .
This project was discussed during a recent meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi in Ankara .