Iraqi prime minister to visit Turkey May 15th: Turkish official

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi

Baghdad ( Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi is paying a visit to Turkey on May 15th where he meets President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a Turkish official stated.

Anadolu Agency quoted Veysel Eroglu, the Turkish presidency representative on Iraqi affairs, saying that Abdel-Mahdi is visiting Turkey on May 15th, and will meet President Erdogan.

He made the statement during a parliamentary session on Friday, which tackled a number of pending issues with the Iraqi side, most notably the water share dispute.

“We are doing an important job because Iraq is our neighbor, and we are doing important work in the fields of electricity and water”, Eroglu said during the meeting.

During a meeting with Abdel-Mahdi in Baghdad last month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu agreed with the Iraqi premier that both countries needed to boost cooperation in many areas, including security and investments, they also agreed on the need to address contentious issues, including water.

Turkey is holding back water on the Tigris river to fill a reservoir behind its Ilisu dam, a step that has alarmed Iraq and caused shortages particularly in the southern province of Basra.

Iraq’s water shortages have led it to take measures such as bans on rice planting, and driven farmers to leave their land. Basra province had seen months of street protests over the lack of clean drinking water.

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