Turkish delegation to visit Iraq for discussions on water resources
A Turkish delegation will visit Iraq in June to discuss cross-border water resources, with the Turkish government already having appointed a special envoy to Iraq, former Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroğlu.
The delegation, headed by Eroğlu, will have talks with Iraqi officials seeking to share Turkey’s experiences on irrigation systems, waste management and environmental practices in the use of water.
Turkey has formed a working group composed of 50 members under the chairmanship of Eroğlu and prepared an action plan on the issue for Iraq.
The Foreign Ministry, Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, the Environment and Urbanization Ministry and the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry are carrying on the technical work. The initial study of the working group on Iraq’s access to clean and healthy water has been completed and presented to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
A delegation of 20 people will visit Iraq and evaluate the progress of work in water infrastructure. Some infrastructural agreements related to the planned dams in Iraq will also be discussed in these meetings.
Around 70 percent of Iraq’s water supplies flow from neighboring countries, especially in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers which run through Turkey. For many years, Iraq has complained about Turkey’s cross-border water management. The rivers in question, the Euphrates and Tigris, both begin in Turkey and pass through Syria and Iraq before emptying into the Persian Gulf in Basra.
The main problem regarding Iraq’s water shortage lies within the deficiencies in its infrastructure, a Turkish official told Hürriyet Daily News on condition of anonymity.