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Iraq, Turkiye to build transportation corridor linking Basra to Turkish border

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-03-22 09:50

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' Al-Sudani (L) hold a joint press conference at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkiye, on March 21, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

ANKARA - Turkiye and Iraq will build a land and railroad transportation corridor stretching from the Iraqi province of Basra to the Turkish border, Turkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

"We have tasked our minister friends, who will carry out the works for materializing the Development Road Project, extending from Basra to Turkiye," Erdogan said at a joint press conference with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani.

"I believe that we will transform the Development Road Project into the new Silk Road of our region," the Turkish president said.

Moreover, Turkiye 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 Türkiye, as Iraq often suffers from drought.

In their talks, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to fighting against all forms of terrorism, Erdogan revealed.

"Our expectation from our Iraqi brothers is that they shall designate the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as a terrorist organization and clear their lands of this bloodshedder terrorist organization," Erdogan said.

Al-Sudani, for his part, underlined that his government will not allow Iraqi lands to become a "point to launch attacks" against its neighbor.

"Security of Türkiye 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 said.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkiye, the United States 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.

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