Shafaq News / Iraqi President Abdullatif Jamal Rashid emphasized the critical need for an operational plan and minimum water release framework in relation to the Tigris and Euphrates river basins during his meeting with Turkish President's Permanent Special Envoy for Water Affairs, Veysel Eroğlu, on Wednesday. Eroğlu reiterated President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's significant commitment to addressing the water issue.
The official statement from the Presidential Office revealed that the meeting took place at the opulent Baghdad Palace. Eroğlu led a high-profile delegation comprising experts and advisors specializing in water management, dam construction, irrigation, agriculture, and environmental energy.
Present at the meeting were also Iraqi Ministers of Water Resources, Awn Dhiyab Abdullah, and Environment, Nizar Amedi. Veysel Eroğlu conveyed President Erdoğan's warm regards and admiration to President Rashid. In return, Rashid reciprocated with his greetings and appreciation for Erdoğan.
Both leaders acknowledged the profound historical ties between their nations, emphasizing that water-related challenges are not insurmountable. They stressed that resolutions require substantial decisions benefiting their countries and citizens, underscoring the necessity for concerted implementation.
The deliberations highlighted the paramount importance of nurturing and expanding bilateral relations, especially in the domain of cooperative water management. They reached a consensus that existing shared agreements and understandings on water issues should be refreshed to align with the interests of both countries and their populations.
During the discussions, President Rashid underscored the urgency of furnishing Iraq with a comprehensive operational strategy and a minimum water release guideline, specifically tailored to the Tigris and Euphrates river basins. He placed emphasis on the imperative of technical exchanges between the two parties, aimed at achieving a unified understanding. He accentuated that Iraq's government is diligently striving to fortify, innovate, and optimize water management on a national scale.
The President pointed to the global water crisis, particularly pronounced in the Middle East due to climate change effects. He highlighted the adverse impact of drought and desertification on daily life and agriculture. He stressed that all rivers and tributaries contributing to Iraq originate from its neighboring countries.
Addressing the ongoing water crisis, President Rashid disclosed Iraq's endeavor to present a comprehensive proposal to Turkey, intending to address and align on water-related challenges. The ultimate goal is to formulate and concur upon actionable solutions regarding water allocations.
In response, Eroğlu expressed his enthusiasm regarding the meeting with President Rashid. He reaffirmed Turkey's commitment to fostering a productive partnership in water management, with an overarching objective to establish mutually beneficial agreements between the two neighboring countries. He affirmed President Erdoğan's unwavering dedication to alleviating Iraq's water needs.
Eroğlu also delivered an extensive report outlining potential collaborative initiatives and projects that Turkey could undertake alongside Iraq. These initiatives encompass a comprehensive approach to address the water crisis, counter desertification, optimize water management, and implement innovative irrigation techniques.