Turkey and Iraq have agreed to establish a water resources center in Baghdad to study and address water issues in the region.
Addressing a press conference in Iraqi capital Baghdad, Turkish Presidency’s Special Representative to Iraq Veysel Eroglu announced that both countries have drafted an action plan to address water issues.
"We have prepared a great working and action plan, regarding the water issue," Eroglu said, after holding talks with Iraqi Water Resources Minister Jamal Adili.
He added that Turkey favored development of its neighbor Iraq.
"We want friendship between Iraq and Turkey, to grow even stronger. We will establish a center in Baghdad to study and locate water sources,” he said.
Maintaining that he held fruitful talks with Iraqi officials on the water issues, Eroglu who is also Turkey’s water affairs minister, said both countries will expand their area of cooperation, beyond water issues.
"We will hold joint works on a variety of topics. Iraq has great potential," he added.
The minister said both countries would soon discuss construction of a rail network, starting from northern Iraq to southern Basra province, and a land route as well, in the same region.
"Thus, we will connect Turkey to Gulf countries through Iraq,” he said.
In terms of access and connectivity, Turkish minister said, Iraq has hundred times more potential than that of Singapore.
Iraqi Water Resources Minister Jamal Adili said the meeting on water issue went well.
He stressed that Turkey and Iraq enjoyed the best bilateral ties currently in both countries' history.
Adili said Iraq was pleased with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "constructive" attitude towards country's water issues. He said both countries favored a solution and water talks presented a great opportunity to benefit both Turks and Iraqis.
The Tigris and Euphrates, with their tributaries, form a major river system in Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Originating in eastern Turkey, they flow through Syria and Iraq into the Persian Gulf.
Reporting by Haydar Karaalp in Baghdad
Writing by Ali Murat Alhas