Germany to Join Saudi Railway Expansion Plans

Published May 27th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Germany has decided to take part in the multi-billion-dollar expansion of Saudi Arabia's railway network, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported Saturday. 

The director general of the German transport ministry, Michael Harting, informed Saudi railways chief Khalid al-Yahya of Berlin's willingness during a May 22nd 

meeting in Dammam, on the Gulf coast, SPA said. 

A 2.4-billion-dollar project is to link the eastern and western coasts of the kingdom, which is four times the size of France.  

Saudi plans over the next five years to expand the network, slated for privatization, to cover the whole country. It is counting on the private sector for the expansion, estimated to cost a total of 4.5 billion dollars, AFP added. 

Japan earlier this year turned down a Saudi request to finance a two-billion-dollar rail link between phosphate mines in the north and industrial centers in eastern Saudi Arabia, added the agency. 

The decision cost Tokyo an oil-drilling concession, which Riyadh refused to renew in February. 

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the Arabian Peninsula with a railway – (Several Sources) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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