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News Turkey positive towards Syria's more water demand

Turkish Environment & Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu said last 8 December that Syria was willing to draw 1.2 billion cubic meters waterfrom Tigris annually.

"Why should not we give if there iswater. Studies will take place however we will try to do our best torelease this volume," Eroglu said speaking at a joint news conferencewith Syrian Irrigation Minister Nadir al-Buni in Ankara.

Erogluand al-Buni had a five hour meeting to review last-minute preparationsfor a number of cooperation protocols on water and irrigation as a partof a strategic cooperation deal signed earlier this year.

The protocols are scheduled to be inked in a meeting on December 22-25 in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Eroglu said Turkey was eager to boost cooperation with Syria.

Turkishminister said the two countries continued works on high rankingstrategic cooperation council, "various meetings had earlier takenplace in Aleppo and Gaziantep to this end. Following the meeting inAleppo, barriers in the border were removed and visa procedureslifted."

"Citizens of both countries are pleased over thedevelopments. Cabinets of Turkey and Syria will have a joint meeting atthe end of this month. Our cooperation is not only related toirrigation, we also have deals on extinguishing forest fire," he said.

SyrianIrrigation Minister al-Buni said they prepared the memorandum ofunderstandings that would be signed during Turkish Prime Minister RecepTayyip Erdogan's visit to Syria in December.

He said the memorandum of understandings were ready in principle, noting that they would be signed in Damascus.

Referringto Asi Friendship Dam, to be built on the Asi River on the borderbetween Syria and Turkey, Eroglu said the dam did not only aimed atenergy. "It is a dam targeting irrigation and preventing flood. It isknown that agriculture lands and some cities had to face floods becauseof overflow in Asi River. Technical works are underway."

The Asi River originates in Syria and flows through Turkey's Hatay province before spilling into the Mediterranean Sea.


Read also: Turkey and Syria Strategic Cooperation Council: memorandum of understandings on water

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Syrian capital Damascus on a two-day official visit. 

Prime Minister Erdogan is set to attend the first prime ministerial meeting of Turkey-Syria High Level Strategic Cooperation Council. 

He will also meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Asad and Prime Minister Muhammad Naji al-Utri. 

Several protocols and agreements will be signed on water (a number of cooperation protocols on water and irrigation that were prepared earlier in Ankara during the meeting that gathered Turkish Environment & Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu and Syrian Irrigation Minister Nadir al-Buni last 8 December), health, transportation, industry, foreign policy and higher education during the visit. 

His wife Emine Erdogan, State Minister Cevdet Yilmaz, State Minister Zafer Caglayan, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin, Interior Minister Besir Atalay, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Health Minister Recep Akdag, Energy & Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz, Agriculture & Rural Affairs Minister Mehdi Eker, Environment & Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu and nearly 200 businessmen are accompanying the prime minister.    


Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
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Geographical coverage Turkey, Syria
News date 24/12/2009
Working language(s) ENGLISH