Published: 2023-03-22 12:56
Last Updated: 2024-03-01 18:26
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged Tuesday to step up the flow of water along the Tigris River to drought-stricken Iraq for one month.
Baghdad accused Ankara of withholding water in dams that choke the Tigris and Euphrates rivers near their point of origin in Turkey, as reported by AFP.
The issue has gained added urgency as the entire region is gripped by a years-long drought that has emptied water reservoirs and threatened food security for millions of people.
Erdogan told Iraq's visiting Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani that he was aware of the "urgent need for water."
Official Iraqi statistics show the level of the Tigris entering the country last year dropping to just 35 percent of its average over the past century.
"For one month, we have taken the decision to increase the volume of water flowing along the Tigris River," Erdogan told a joint media appearance with Sudani.
"The issue of water will hopefully be resolved," Erdogan said.
Erdogan did not mention Turkey's dam-building projects or explain how he intended to step up the water flows.
The Turkish leader did not specify why the decision was only taken for one month.