A quadrilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the planned 1200km Development Road new rail link was signed on April 22. Iraq, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar agreed to cooperate on the $US 17bn project to create a new passenger and double-track freight railway between the Grand Port at Al Faw in Iraq and the Turkish border.

Turkish president Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Iraqi prime minister Mr Mohammed Al Sudani witnessed the MoU signing, along with Qatari and Emirati ministers, at a ceremony in Baghdad, the first time a Turkish leader has visited the city since 2011.

"The outlines for the framework of implementing the Development Road project aim to stimulate economic growth and enhance regional and international cooperation through economic integration,” the office of Sudani said in a statement. “It seeks to create a sustainable economy bridging East and West, increase international trade, facilitate movement and commerce, establish a new competitive transport route, and bolster regional economic prosperity."