Lebanon calls for foreign investment in rebuilding railway network

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BEIRUT, May 11 (Xinhua) -- The Lebanese public works and transport minister on Wednesday called for foreign investment in a project to rebuild a broken railway network in the country.

"The railway from Tripoli through Syria to Turkey and reaching Europe is an existing project. We call on the serious countries to invest" in it, Ali Hamieh told a press conference on the ministry's transport strategy.

Lebanon had a railway network since the end of the 19th century which connected Beirut and Syria's capital Damascus but has been out of service since 1975 when a civil war broke out.

Noting Lebanon's strategic location, Hamieh said his country has deep water ports that can receive large ships and reduce the transportation cost for countries across West Asia, the Mediterranean and Europe.

Hamieh announced earlier this year that Spain will finance a plan to rehabilitate the 400-km-long railway network, noting the Spanish move could attract potential investors to the plan.

Lebanon has been suffering from an unprecedented financial crisis and is in dire need of billions of dollars to revive its economy and rebuild its infrastructure. Enditem

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