Wednesday 18 May 2022

Successful 29th Regional Assembly for the UIC Middle East region in Amman

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The 29th Regional Assembly for the UIC Middle East region was held on 11 May in Amman and in hybrid mode. His Excellency Eng. Wajeeh Azaizeh, Minister of Transport of Jordan opened the meeting. He spoke about railway development globally and in particular in Jordan and focused on a rail link project for goods with the port of Aqaba and Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. He added that rail is an instrument for not only climate but also economic change.

François Davenne, UIC Director General, highlighted the fact that the RAME region, located at the heart of the East-West corridors, occupies a special position of importance between Europe and Asia. As such, it is a key region for rail development, as mentioned by the Minister. Among the upcoming challenges for the Middle-East region, he mentioned:

- the bimonthly “Rail Tuesdays”, dedicated to fostering dialogue between Members on topics of common interest
- the development of a training offer, also every two months, set up with the active involvement of MERTCe, the Middle-East Railway Training Centre, which he thanked for its work
- the launch of the Vision 2050 presented at the last RAME, thus giving long-term perspectives and enabling concrete actions to be set between the Members
- the launch of other studies, such as the one on the impact of high temperatures, thus involving the fields of infrastructure and rolling stock.

Mr Zahi Khalil, Director General of Jordan Hejaz Railways (JHR) gave a welcoming statement to the members of the Assembly, mentioning that Jordan Railways appreciate the role played by UIC in providing Members with assistance especially regarding technological advancement.

Mr Metin Akbaş, Acting Chairman of the Board & Director General of TCDD, who chaired and moderated the Regional Assembly, insisted on the necessary synergies in the Middle East to be developed and the importance of complementarity, in order to reach common objectives.
Vice-Chairman, Mr. Bashar Al Malik, CEO of SAR, and Mr Hossein Ashoori, First Deputy-President and Member of the Board (RAI), on behalf of Vice-Chairman, Mr Seyed Miad Salehi, Vice-Minister for Roads and Urban Development, Chairman of the Board, RAI President, also delivered a speech.

The UIC Middle East regional coordinator, Marc Guigon, informed participants about the process of preparing UIC Middle East Rail Vision 2050. He invited Ms. Ekaterina Kozyreva (President of IEC International) and Mr Pavel Chistyakov (Associate, R&D Director and General Manager of IEC Transport at UAE) to report on the follow-up of the study and the questionnaire sent to UIC RAME members and other Regional actors. The information provided will become a basis for model adaptation and specification for RAME member countries.

Marc Guigon also mentioned the importance for Members to be involved in the UIC daily technical work and the importance to participate in the opt’in process, regarding the portfolio of projects managed by UIC. He informed the meeting about the organisation and the result of the first UIC Middle East Railway Tuesday, by underlining that the first one was a success and that the next one will be held in June.
Sandra Géhénot, UIC Freight Director, introduced the topic concerning Freight and Corridors, and the constitution of a dedicated freight stakeholder group in the region, in order to provide RAME members with tailor made solutions.

During this meeting, the importance of training programmes was also mentioned. Finally, each RAME Member presented its current priorities.

This Regional Assembly also made it possible to visit the Amman train station. The UIC delegation was received by the General Manager of JHR in Amman station, and talked about regional development projects that directly impact Jordan, with links to other countries: Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria. They visited the station’s museum, and talked about the development of railway tourism potential in Jordan.

For further information, please contact Marc Guigon, UIC Passenger Director, Coordinator Middle-East and Latin-American Regions at

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