Exclusive: Iraq Seeks Quiet Diplomacy with Turkey to Address Looming Water Crisis

Exclusive: Iraq Seeks Quiet Diplomacy with Turkey to Address Looming Water Crisis

Shafaq News/ The official government spokesperson, Basem Al-Awadi, has called for a discreet and constructive dialogue with Turkey to tackle the pressing water crisis that has plagued Iraq for years.

Al-Awadi assured the nation that the current water crisis would not repeat itself.

Speaking to Shafaq News agency, Al-Awadi highlighted the existence of binding international agreements between Iraq and Turkey. He revealed that ongoing negotiations, spanning various levels, were being conducted by Iraqi delegations, including technical experts from the Ministries of Water Resources and Foreign Affairs.

Al-Awadi disclosed a series of messages exchanged between the two countries to strengthen diplomatic ties, including visits from ministerial and official delegations. Notably, high-ranking Turkish officials are scheduled to visit Iraq in the near future, demonstrating the significance both nations attribute to resolving the water conundrum.

Al-Awadi underscored the indispensable nature of water resources for both Iraq and Turkey. He stressed the need for extensive deliberations and measured discussions to forge satisfactory solutions that accommodate the interests of both parties through mutual understanding and dialogue.

Acknowledging Iraq's paramount concern, Al-Awadi emphasized that the water crisis remains a top priority for the government and the Prime Minister. He affirmed that the government is resolute in upholding citizens' rights and interests, committing to fulfill this duty within the boundaries of legality and constitutionality.

The anticipated diplomatic engagements are poised to extensively address the issue of water scarcity and water releases, constituting a pivotal component of the forthcoming discussions. Al-Awadi exuded optimism, expressing confidence that the ongoing crisis is a temporary setback and will soon pave the way for enduring solutions, thereby averting future recurrences.

Iraq ranked fifth on the list of countries most affected by climate change by the United Nations, has grappled with a severe water crisis since 2020. The acute scarcity of rainfall, exacerbated by upstream activities by Turkey, Iran, and Syria, has severely impacted the levels of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The consequences have extended to critical areas, with drinking water stations facing challenges in accessing turbid water and dams, lakes, and reservoirs witnessing significant declines. The ecological integrity of the southern Al-Ahwar has also been jeopardized as water levels continue to plummet.

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