Israel mulls Asia-Europe rail link
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Jerusalem, Jan 29: Israel is mulling to build a 350 km rail link between its Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts that could compete with the Suez Canal for Europe-Asia trade, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today saying, the project will create "great interest" in India and China.
Netanyahu said a passenger line through the desert would for the first time put Israel's southern Red Sea resort of Eilat a two-hour journey from Tel Aviv.
"The Eilat Railway will be a passenger railway with a travel time of two hours," he said, in his opening remarks at today's cabinet meeting, Israeli business website Globes reported.
"This will also be a line for the shipment of goods from Asia to Europe. This will create a very great interest on the part of the rising powers - India and China - and others, in Israel. It therefore has strategic, national, and international importance to build this line," he said.
The Prime Minister said that the cabinet would need more meetings to complete the discussion on building the Eilat railway.
"This change is the realisation of the vision to link-up Israel and the development of transport infrastructures north to Kiryat Shmona and to Eilat with traffic light-less roads and railways - lines for travel within Israel and as an intercontinental transit point."
Netanyahu said that new rail and road networks would join the Eilat line to northern Israel and also become "a junction between continents."
The preferred option was for the work to be done by Chinese state-owned contractors, the ministry's website says.
"The professional capability of the Chinese companies in the construction of railway systems and transport networks is among the best in the world," it quoted transport minister Yisrael Katz as saying.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Jan 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Jan 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 Jan 2012 00:00:00 IST
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