Ankara : Turkey and Iraq will build a land and railroad transportation corridor stretching from the Iraqi province of Basra to the Turkish border, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
“We have tasked our minister friends, who will carry out the works for materialising the Development Road Project, extending from Basra to Turkey,” Erdogan said at a joint press conference with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani on Tuesday.
“I believe that we will transform the Development Road Project into the new Silk Road of our region,” the Turkish President added.
Moreover, Turkey will increase the amount of water released from the Tigris river to help Iraq tackle its water shortage, he said.
Baghdad has been urging Ankara to secure Iraqi water share from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers which originate from Turkey, as Iraq often suffers from drought, Xinhua news agency reported.
In their talks, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to fighting against all forms of terrorism, Erdogan said.
“Our expectation from our Iraqi brothers is that they shall designate the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as a terrorist organisation and clear their lands of this bloodshedder terrorist organisation,” Erdogan added.
Al-Sudani, for his part, underlined that his government will not allow Iraqi lands to become a “point to launch attacks” against its neighbour.
“Security of Turkey and security of Iraq are inseparable,” he said.
The security officials of the two countries exchanged information on the issue during talks in the capital Ankara, al-Sudani added.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for more than three decades. It has been using Iraq’s Qandil Mountains as its main base for years. — IANS