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Sender: owner-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 97 11:25:56 CDT
From: rich%pencil@BROWNVM.brown.edu (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: Iraq/Turkey: Iraq says Turkey threatens flow of shared waters
Article: 19780

/** mideast.gulf: 57.0 **/
** Topic: Iraq/Turkey: Iraq says Turkey threatens flow of shared waters **
** Written 7:23 AM Oct 11, 1997 by G.LANGE@NADESHDA.comlink.apc.org in cdp:mideast.gulf **

Iraq says Turkey threatens flow of shared waters

By Hassan Hafidh, Reuters, 1 October 1997, 07:39 a.m. Eastern

BAGHDAD, Oct 1 (Reuter) - Iraq accused upstream neighbour Turkey on Wednesday of threatening the flow of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers by building dams and urged Ankara to reach a water-sharing accord.

Turkey monopolises the flow of waters of the Tigris and Euphrates as dictated by its own interest at the expense of Iraq and Syria's interest, the ruling Baath party newspaper al-Thawra said.

The Tigris and Euphrates rivers originate in Turkey. The Euphrates winds through Syria before entering Iraq. The Tigris passes through Iraq.

The country where these rivers rise should not monopolise waters of such international rivers the way it likes, the paper said in an article written by Mohammed al-Douri, an Iraqi university professor.

Al-Thawra said Iraq's concerns on the waters of the two rivers were raised by an Iraqi delegation currently in Ankara attending an international conference on waters opened by Turkish President Suleyman Demirel on Tuesday.

The Iraqi delegation has conducted talks with participating delegates explaining Iraq's point of view on Turkish projects on the Euphrates and Tigris, the paper said.

Iraq protests have grown since last year when Turkey announced a plan worth $1.62 billion for its fourth dam on the Euphrates to produce power and irrigation for a large chunk of southeastern Turkey.

Syria and Iraq say the current flow of water from Turkey is not enough. Both countries depend largely on the waters of the Euphrates and Tigris for drinking, irrigation and electricity generation.

The paper stressed that dialogue between the three countries should continue and a comprehensive agreement should be reached.

If they cannot reach a logical and just solution they should resort to other means which are known internationally, the paper said, adding the Arab League should play a role on this.

Baghdad is also at loggerheads with Turkey over several cross-border operations by Turkish troops in northern Iraq.

About 15,000 Turkish troops, supported by Kurdish militia forces, entered Iraq last week in a campaign against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas who operate from the region in their fight for self-rule in southeast Turkey.

Iraq, Turkey and Syria have held several meetings in the past but failed to reach an agreement on water-sharing.

Ankara and Damascus signed a provisional agreement in 1987 under which Turkey allows the flow of 500 cubic metres per second to Syria. The Syrian government has called for a permanent accord.