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Turkish minister: 15,000 tons of food reach Qatar

Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi (L) meets with Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (R) in Doha, Qatar on June 14, 2017. Cem Ozdel / Anadolu Agency

Amid a crisis between Qatar and Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi on Thursday said 15,000 tons of food exported from Turkey have arrived in the Gulf country by sea, TGRT reported.

Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Zeybekçi said the number of Turkish cargo planes that had arrived in Qatar had exceeded 200 by Thursday evening.

Upon a question Zeybekçi said Ankara has been in contact with Iran for the rapid transportation of commodities by truck after the arrival of trucks in 13 to 14 days in the Gulf country, that is three days longer than the shipment by sea. Zeybekçi underlined that transportation by truck could be decreased to six days if the Iran option were to be put into practice.

On June 22, Turkey sent its first ship loaded with supplies for Qatar, which has been hit by sanctions from Gulf powers led by Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain broke off relations with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting “terrorism,” leaving Doha economically and politically isolated.

Turkey has vowed to stand by Qatar and called on Saudi Arabia to end all sanctions.
Immediately after the countries imposed sanctions on Qatar, Turkey’s Parliament approved two agreements for deploying troops to Qatar and military cooperation.

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