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Turkey-Iraq Relations Back on Joint Development Track  

Aug. 1, 2019 (EIRNS)—Relations between Turkey and Iraq are once again moving in the direction of better cooperation and economic integration through the development of infrastructure. The Turkish Presidency’s Special Representative to Iraq Veysel Eroglu was in Baghdad on July 31 for talks on economic cooperation with Iraqi Water Resources Minister Jamal Adili.  

Speaking at a joint press conference, Eroglu said: “We have prepared a great working and action plan, regarding the water issue. We want friendship between Iraq and Turkey, to grow even stronger. We will establish a center in Baghdad to study and locate water sources.”  

Eroglu, who is also Turkey’s water affairs minister, said both countries will expand their area of economic cooperation, which will include the construction of a rail network, starting from northern Iraq to southern Basra province, and also a highway.  “Thus, we will connect Turkey to the Gulf countries through Iraq,” he said, reported Turkey’s official Anadolu Agency on July 31.  

Eroglu also met with Iraq’s President Barham Salih and conveyed greetings from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Salih, reported Xinhua.  Salih stressed in a statement that water “has priority in Iraqi-Turkish discussions” and the importance to “find a long-term and mutually satisfactory resolution to outstanding Iraqi-Turkish water issue.”  The two countries share the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, whichflow from Turkey through Iraq, and empty into the Persian Gulf.   

Iraqi Water Resources Minister Adili said the meeting on water management went well and that the two countries enjoyed the best bilateral ties in both countries’ history. He also praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “constructive” attitude towards the country’s water issues.

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