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Iraq looks for understanding with Turkey on water issue

A boy walks through a dried up agricultural field near a dry water hose in the Saadiya area, north of Diyala in eastern Iraq on June 24, 2021. - As Iraq bakes under a blistering summer heat wave, its hard-scrabble farmers and herders are battling severe water shortages that are killing their animals, fields and way of life. The oil-rich country, scarred by four decades of war, is also one of the world's most vulnerable to the climate crisis and struggles with a host of other environmental challenges. (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images)
A boy walks through a dried up agricultural field near a dry water hose in the Saadiya area, north of Diyala in eastern Iraq on June 24, 2021 [AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images]

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 yesterday.

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.

UNICEF: Water scarcity in Iraq badly affects children

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 neighbouring 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.

Iran also controls the water supply to Iraq. Over the past few months, Iraq has repeatedly urged Iran to increase its water supplies to the country, but with Tehran facing its own water crisis, that proved unsuccessful.

Baghdad resorted to filing a complaint at the United Nations about Iran, in efforts to secure its water rights.

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Europe & RussiaIraqMiddle EastNewsTurkey
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