BAGHDAD (MEMO) – The Iraqi water resources minister has expressed the desire to reach an understanding with Turkey over their shared waters.
According to a statement by the Water Resources Ministry, Mahdi Rashid al-Hamdani met the Turkish ambassador to Baghdad Ali Riza Guney late Friday.
Both the officials reviewed the issue of their shared waters. Al-Hamdani stressed on the importance of cooperation to administer the water flow in the Tigris River.
The Turkish envoy conveyed his country’s willingness to solve Iraq’s water issues and address its needs.
In June, Baghdad announced that Ankara released water in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to help address water scarcity suffered by the country.
A shortage of water due to droughts and other environmental issues has been seen throughout the region in recent years, and at times it has exacerbated political disputes between neighboring countries.
That has particularly been the case with Turkey, which holds the vast majority of water supplies due to the two major rivers running downstream from eastern Turkey. Iraq and Syria, therefore, largely rely on that water supply, and Turkey has in previous years been accused of leveraging it to its advantage. That was seen early this year with Baghdad’s talks with Turkey over a delayed water deal.