The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Chia al-Soudani, announced during an official visit by the latter to Ankara on March 21 and 22 an increase in the flow of the Tigris to the Iraq over a period of one month.
The management of the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates is the subject of chronic tensions between Turkey and Iraq.
Iraq, a downstream country, regularly accuses its northern neighbor of reducing the flow of the river by building dams there, in particular within the framework of the South Eastern Anatalia Project launched in the 1980s and aimed at building 22 dams – the construction of dams on the tributaries of the Tigris by Iran, to the East, is also denounced by Baghdad.
To this lack of regional coordination – there is no multilateral agreement between the countries of the Tigris-Euphrates basin – is added the poor management of the resource by Iraq, particularly in terms of irrigation and the consequences of climate change, leading to regular water shortages in the country.
This announcement reflects the Prime Minister’s desire to make water, the key theme of the Basra Conference on climate change, a major subject on his political agenda, and the reinforced cooperation between Iraq and Turkey, the two countries having also discussed the “Dry Canal” (railway line) project between the future port of Al-Fao and Turkey, described as the “new silk road” by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Source Embassy of France in Lebanon