The Iraqi Cabinet announced a series of decisions on May 23 regarding the establishment of the Dry Canal project, the new Sadr City, and the railway connection with Iran.
Additionally, several ministries were directed to coordinate among themselves for the purpose of implementation.
According to a statement from the office of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, he presided over the 21st regular session of the Cabinet, during which the developments in the country’s situation and public affairs were discussed. The session also included a review and follow-up on the implementation of decisions related to various files and issues, as well as the prioritization of the government program and discussions on the agenda items.
The statement further noted that the Prime Minister reviewed Iraq’s participation in the 32nd Arab Summit held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, emphasizing the importance of enhancing joint Arab work, integration, and economic partnerships among the sisterly and friendly countries in the region. The Iraqi delegation affirmed that such cooperation should support stability and development for the benefit of all the region’s peoples.
Regarding the progress of the New Sadr City project, the Prime Minister instructed the transfer of ownership of the designated land, registered as (1 M11 Tlul Al-Nas), measuring 152 dunams and 18 aulqas, from the Ministry of Finance to the Municipality of Baghdad. Similarly, the ownership of the land, registered as (72/2 M11 Tlul Al-Nas), with an area of 294 dunams and 18 aulqas, was directed to be transferred from the General Company for Reconstruction and Housing/Ministry of Construction, Housing, Municipalities, and Public Works to the Municipality of Baghdad.
In terms of economic and developmental matters, the Cabinet approved the recommendation of the Economic Council of Ministers (No. 23083/Q) to endorse the recommendations made by the committee formed under the General Secretariat of the Cabinet.
Among the approved recommendations was the identification of the proposed route for the Iraqi Railways General Authority’s railway plan, extending from the seaports to the south of Khawr Al-Zubair, outside the lands owned by the General Directorate of Free Zones. The coordination between the Ministry of Oil, the Ministry of Water Resources, and the Free Zones Authority, within a two-week timeframe, was also included as part of the recommendations.
The endorsed recommendations further included the establishment of a customs office by the Ministry of Finance at the furthest point of the proposed railway line, based on the Customs Law (Law No. 23 of 1984). The Ministry of Transport, in coordination with the Directorate of Real Estate Registration and State Properties, was tasked with determining the actual required area for the project in accordance with the Ministry of Transport Law (Law No. 7 of 1994) and acquiring the necessary properties from the Ministry of Finance.
Moreover, the Ministry of Transport was instructed to take the necessary steps for the implementation of the aforementioned project, provided that a feasibility study for the project is presented prior to commencement, as per Article 1/8 of the aforementioned Ministry of Transport Law.
Regarding the follow-up on the railway link with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Cabinet approved “compelling all relevant entities to provide the necessary facilitations for granting the lands of the Basra-Shalamjah railway project to the Ministry of Transport” and authorizing the Ministry of Transport/Iraqi Republic Railways General Company to hand over the sites of the minefields and the navigation bridge on the Shatt Al-Arab River to the Iranian railways to initiate mine clearance procedures. The Cabinet also entrusted the Basra Governorate with initiating the necessary measures to remove any encroachments along the railway track of the aforementioned project, as well as any obstacles or conflicts that hinder its progress.
In relation to the implementation of the government program aimed at addressing the housing crisis and developing new cities equipped with proper infrastructure and legal ownership structures, the Cabinet approved an amendment to Resolution No. 324 of 2022. This amendment entails allocating 3,000 dunams of land from the Ghazlani Camp to the current Ministry of Defense for its designated purposes and objectives, excluding the use of military headquarters or barracks. The remaining area of the camp’s land will be announced by the committee formed under Cabinet Resolution No. 23121 of 2023 for the construction of a residential city, with subsequent transfer of ownership to interested investors and beneficiaries.
The decisions made by the Iraqi Cabinet reflect the government’s commitment to advancing major development projects and strategic partnerships. The establishment of the Dry Canal project, the development of the new Sadr City, and the railway link with Iran are expected to enhance regional connectivity, promote economic cooperation, and contribute to the overall progress and stability of Iraq.