Turkey says made energy sacrifice to relieve neighbors in water meeting

Turkish Environment Minister Veysel Eroglu, Iraqi Water Resources Minister Latef Jamal Rasheed and Syrian Irrigation Minister Nader al-Bounni are attending the meeting in Ankara.

Turkey says made energy sacrifice to relieve neighbors in water meeting

Environment, water and irrigation ministers from Turkey, Iraq and Syria have met in Turkish capital on Thursday to discuss waters of Firat (Euphrates) and Dicle (Tigris) rivers.

Turkish Environment Minister Veysel Eroglu, Iraqi Water Resources Minister Latef Jamal Rasheed and Syrian Irrigation Minister Nader al-Bounni are attending the meeting in Ankara.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Eroglu said Turkey released water from Ataturk Dam on Euphrates, at the risk of generating less energy, in order to help its neighbors Iraq and Syria.

Eroglu said Turkey, Iraq and Syria were at risk of negative effects of the global warming. He said all these countries had dry years since 2006, however Turkey sacrificed more energy just to relieve Iraq and Syria and not to deprive them of water.

Precipitation fell 46 percent in Tigris and Euphrates basins in southeast Turkey over the past three years, Eroglu said, adding that water level at Ataturk Dam dropped to 10 percent.

Iraqi minister Rasheed, who took the floor after Eroglu, said his country had been suffering from severe drought over the past few years. He said Iraq's water storage capacity was also falling year by year.

Rasheed said Iraq faced mass migration especially from southern parts of the country due to drought as water flow from Tigris and Euphrates rivers was going down.

Syrian minister al-Bounni said his country understood Iraqi demand for more water.

"Syria and Iraq are badly in need of water but our Iraqi brothers feel the need much more. We have to meet that need. Dialogue is very important for this purpose and it is why this meeting is so important," al-Bounni said.

"Our Iraqi brothers know very well that our dams are empty and we have human needs," he added.


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Last Mod: 03 Eylül 2009, 17:17
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