By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - Veysel Eroglu, Turkey's special envoy to Iraq, on Thursday chaired a meeting to discuss an action plan to solve water related issues in Iraq.
Addressing a meeting in the Turkish parliament, Eroglu, who is also forestry and water affairs minister, said that he has submitted a proposal to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"Our President wants to improve relations with Iraq. He has personally looked into our action plan. He has assured to work on the plan," said Eroglu, a lawmaker from Afyonkarahisar in western Turkey.
"Iraq is very important for us. If we improve our relations with Iraq, it will be a huge step for the Middle East. Everybody knows it," he said.
Eroglu noted that Iraqi authorities wanted Turkey handle several major water projects in their country.
"They want to set up irrigation projects on priority. A proper irrigation can decrease unemployment [in the country]. The income of farmers will also grow," he said.
Further, Iraq wants portable water projects in Mosul and Baghdad, besides construction of dams and ponds. Other projects, where Turkey is helping Iraq included setting up of a railway network from north to south, and the highway system.
“We will pay an official visit to Iraq to discuss projects after July,” Eroglu said.
The special envoy is expected to visit Bagdad by end of this year to hold the Fourth High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting with top officials in Iraq.