Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to increase releases of water to Iraq to help it overcome a water crisis, Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi said.
Halbousi made the remarks following a meeting with Erdogan in the Turkish capital Ankara.
The Turkish president agreed to increase water releases to Iraq “to guarantee the delivery of water to all Iraqi provinces, particularly in Basra,” the Iraqi Basnews website quoted Halbousi as saying in a statement.
“Turkey further stressed its commitment to supporting Iraq in the (water) file,” the statement read.
Halbousi arrived in Turkey Monday to take part in the third meeting of Eurasian parliament speakers.
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 has seen months of street protests over the lack of clean drinking water.