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International Rail Network To Connect As Far Away As Israel

Kuwaiti Silk City to connect with Israel

eTN  Jul 23, 2008

Kuwait plans to invest $132 billion in a mega-construction project, which will include a one-kilometer high tower and house 700,000 people.

To be called Silk City, or Madinat Al-Hareer in Arabic, the project has taken its name from the ancient Silk Road, a trade route that connected Europe with China via the Middle East.

The planners of the project, however, do not intend to dispatch caravans but instead will aim to construct a international rail network not only connecting with Kuwait’s neighbors in the Gulf but also as far away as Israel.

The project’s planner is Dr. Sami Al-Faraj, president of Kuwait Center for Strategic Studies and an adviser to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the common forum for the six oil-rich nations in the Gulf.

He was quoted by the local newspaper Kuwait Times as saying, “We hold the keys to a lot of things, but it is not just money. For small states like us the important thing is not oil, it’s not money – it is influence. If we do not use oil or money to increase our influence in a peaceful way, we have no existence.”

Regarding the proposed link to Israel, which might be perceived as controversial in a region where most countries lack diplomatic relations with Israel, Al-Faraj said such thinking was outdated, particularly as Israel was forging ahead as a global technology leader.

“People in the Gulf are smart enough to understand the impact of technology on their development and they know that the technology is in Israel,” he said.

Kuwaiti Silk City to connect with Israel
Dr. Sami Al-Faraj, president of Kuwait Center for Strategic Studies -

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