Iraq asks Turkey to fulfill water promise, relieve shortages

BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 8, 2009 (AP) -- The Iraqi government has called on Turkey to fulfill a promise to release water down Tigris River to relieve shortages that are threatening agriculture and other industries...

BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 8, 2009 (AP) -- The Iraqi government has called on Turkey to fulfill a promise to release water down Tigris River to relieve shortages that are threatening agriculture and other industries.

The minister of water resources, Abdul-Latif Jamal Rasheed, demanded in a statement Monday the release of "more than 500 cubic meters of water per second."

Iraq blames Turkey as well as Iran and Syria for building dams and reservoirs that cause shortages compounded by drought conditions.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul promised this year to increase the amount of water released into the Tigris.

Iraq says the pledge hasn't been fulfilled despite repeated demands and the water flow falls short of Iraq's needs.

Turkish officials did not immediately comment on the statement.

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