STORY: Iraq has launched a $17 billion project to link a major port on its oil-rich southern coast to the border with Turkey by rail and road.
Baghdad hopes the Development Road project will transform Iraq's economy - and ageing transport network - after decades of war and crisis.
Shortening travel time between Asia and Europe in a bid to rival the Suez Canal.
The project to link the Grand Faw Port, which is still under construction, was announced on Saturday (May 27) at a conference to court Arab investment.
[upsot] Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said the Development Road project aimed to achieve a sustainable non-oil economy.
Iraq's government envisions high-speed trains moving goods and passengers, links to local industry hubs and an energy component that could include oil and gas pipelines.
Officials say the Development Road is based on something new: a period of relative stability since late last year that they hope can be maintained.