Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yisrael Katz, has published the details of Israel-Saudi Arabia-United Arab Emirates railway project.
Inaugurated in the United Arab Emirates by Yisrael Katz, the project has been presented as a means of promoting peace in the region and of connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf in order to permit the increase of trade and to stimulate local economy.
A regional railway network will be eventually developed for passenger transport too. In the future, the network will carry passengers from the United Kingdom, Europe and the Mediterranean to the east and from Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia and Iraq to the west, the minister said.
According to Israeli officials, this initiative “will create shorter, faster, cheaper and safer regional routes and will contribute to strengthening the Jordanian, Palestinian, Saudi, Gulf and even the Iraqi economy in the future”. The existing infrastructures in Israel, Saudi Arabia and in the Gulf countries permit the implementation of this initiative “in a relatively short timeframe”.
Israel-Saudi Arabia-United Arab Emirates railway project has a geopolitical stake too
Al-Marj train, which connects Haïfa and Beit Shéan cities, has been built on the historic itinerary of Hejaz railway and reopened in 2016. Its route will be extended up to the Jordanian border, towards Sheikh Hussein Pont and towards Jalamah and Jenin Region in Judea Samaria.
The Minister estimates that the increase of trade volumes in the region “will make the initiative profitable in ten years and will contribute to the recovery of the Iraqi economy. The volume of Israel’s trade will increase by 400% thanks to this project.
Also, the railway will overcome the “security risks” that Iran is imposing in Hormuz Strait and Bab-El-Mandeb, according to Israel, in order to sustain efforts of bringing the Arab countries together against the “common enemy”.