Iraq and Syria face the threat of a water crisis if Turkey refuses to cut a fair deal on sharing the waters of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, an official Iraqi newspaper warned on Friday.
"The water projects carried out by Turkey are designed to give that country total control over the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which would result in a drought for Iraq and Syria as well as serious water shortages," said Al-Iraq.
It said "the lack of agreement with Turkey on a fair share and usage of the waters of these two rivers would threaten Iraq and Syria," the daily said.
"A serious political decision is needed from Ankara to produce an accord which guarantees an equitable division of the waters and clears the way for (good) relations between Turkey and the Arabs," Al-Iraq.
Ankara has rejected charges from Baghdad and Damascus that it is monopolizing the rivers by building more than 20 dams. The Tigris and Euphrates rise in the Turkish mountains and join together in southern Iraq before flowing into the Gulf.
On top of economic sanctions in force since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Iraq has been hit by drought for the past three years, leading to a 45-percent drop in the level of the two rivers in 1999 and hitting crops and livestock - BAGHDAD (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )