Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi inaugurated Sunday the grand Faw port in the oil-rich southern province of Basra, which contributes to the country’s financial budget.
Speaking at the ceremony in Basra, Kadhimi asserted that the grand Faw project is not only for Basra but for all of Iraq.
“It is a strategic project that contributes to the development and reconstruction of all governorates of Iraq and makes the country an economic bridge linking the various countries of the region.”
He added that the port will provide great opportunities for Iraq and enhance its geopolitical position in the region and the world and create many job opportunities.
He pointed out that many parties wanted the project to fail, and the country faced many challenges in this regard, but now it is officially launched after the initial phases of planning and negotiation were finished.
“We funded the project from this year's budget,” he noted.
Initial work on the project began in 2012, but mismanagement, political disputes, and other local and regional interests prevented the implementation process from commencing.
The former director of Daewoo in Iraq, Park Il-ho, was found dead in October last year in an apparent suicide at the company’s headquarters in Basra.
Back then, Kadhimi accused groups, which he did not name, of forcing the director to commit suicide after pressuring him to force the government to release a number of detained corrupt officials.
“With action, not words, we are moving together towards a better future that Iraq and our great people deserve.”
Kadhimi also met a group of young demonstrators who gathered near the gate of the Faw Port Project. He asserted their right to protest, indicating that it is protected by the state, provided that it does not damage public and private properties.
The media office of the Prime Minister issued a statement explaining that the project includes five contracts such as the five container berths, the filling of the container storage and handling yard, the digging of the internal navigation channel, the digging and furnishing of the external navigation channel and the Khor al-Zubair canal tunnel as well as the highway linking the port of al-Faw and Um Qasr.
The Ministry of Transport signed in December a $2.62 billion contract with South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering & Construction to build the first phase of a giant commodities port. However, the contract faced strong opposition from Iran’s allies, which wanted to sign the deal with Chinese companies.