HPA Director Dursun Yıldız ; Turkey should implement proactive hydrodiplomacy, boost trust among riparian states

HPA Director Dursun Yıldız ; Turkey should implement proactive hydrodiplomacy, boost trust among riparian states

HPA Director Dursun Yıldız spoke to Daily Sabah on water cooperation in the Euphrates and Tigris River Basin. (July 28-29 2018)

ALTHOUGH water is key to  conflict resolution and sharing  of benefits in the region, the  current conditions still do not  promise an immediate solution  agreed by all riparians. In that  light, it is widely believed that  building trust among Turkey,  Syria and Iraq is essential to  start a plan on transboundary  waters in the post-conflict era. Turkey, therefore, should,  take a leading role in restoring trust among the regional  countries and adopt an open  policy to implement a new hydropolitical paradigm, Yıldız  explained.

“For the restoration of trust,  an environment of cooperation  based on mutual benefits is essential,” he added.

Meanwhile, regarding the  issue of confidence, EER researcher Lahn said that Turkey’s response to Iraq’s fears of  water shortage illustrates the  importance of clear and timely  communication about what is  happening in the upstream and  emphasized that the country  should continue its stance toward building confidence. Turkey’s policy on transboundary  waters should focus on coordinated management of the river  and benefit-sharing, she said.

“Turkey, Syria and Iraq  could, for example, form a network of experts to improve mutual understanding of changes  in the rivers and expected new  demands on them. Working  jointly on solutions to make  efficient irrigation, pollution  reduction, reviving riverine  ecosystems, agricultural trade  and electricity sharing would  be ways to build trust and improve river sustainability over  time,” Lahn added. Likewise, Turkey may lead  the preliminary work on the  establishment of an organization for cooperation on water  management, Dursun Yıldız said, as  part of its proactive hydrodiplomacy particularly in the  post-conflict era in Syria. The  country can help the re-construction of the collapsed and  ruined corporate infrastructures for water management  during the war. As an example for effective cooperation,

Yıldız cited the recent short term training of Iraqi irrigation engineers and technicians  in Turkey’s State Hydraulic  Works (DSİ).

“In order to build confidence, the riparian states  should engage in open and  transparent communication ,  exchanging information at the  basin level,” Rende, Turkey’s  former ambassador to the  OECD, emphasized.

He also referred to the importance of political will to  start an open dialogue mechanism that could facilitate the  implementation of confidencebuilding measures and the  agreement on the utilization  of the water in transboundary  basins for the benefit of all



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