Ankara, Aug 5 (IANS) Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said that Turkey, Iran and Qatar are discussing using Iran’s land route to facilitate trade between Qatar and Turkey.
In an exclusive interview with state-run Anadolu Agency, Zeybekci said on Friday the three countries are discussing about alternatives to land trade routes with Qatar, and the easiest way is passing through Iran, Xinhua news agency reported.
On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt abruptly severed diplomatic relations with Qatar and imposed a blockade on it, accusing the latter of supporting terrorism and extremism, which Doha has repeatedly denied.
“We want to meet all of Qatar’s needs. We want all goods providers in Turkey to sell products, including cleaning materials, domestic appliances and textile, in Qatar,” Zeybekci said.
Since the outbreak of the crisis, Turkey has transported hundreds of cargo planes of foods to Qatar but Zeybekci said using cargo planes to carry products was not sustainable and economical.
“We foresee that at least four large tonnage ships would go to Qatar monthly but the land route is an alternative for carrying flexible and smaller packages,” the minister explained.
Turkey has strongly backed its ally Qatar after the Gulf diplomatic crisis, by not only providing economic help, but also deploying troops and holding joint military drills in Persian Gulf.