Iran, Turkey, Qatar Mull Land Route Amid Saudi Crisis

Iran, Turkey, Qatar Mull Land Route Amid Saudi Crisis
Sat Aug 5, 2017 18:56:40

Turkey seeks to establish a land route via Iran for trade with Qatar which has relied on both countries for sourcing food since a diplomatic crisis broke out with Saudi Arabia.

Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci on Saturday was in Tehran where he was expected to discuss using Iran’s land route to facilitate trade with Qatar, Anadolu quoted him as saying.

"We're thinking about alternatives for land trade routes with Qatar but the easiest way is passing through Iran," Zeybekci said, according to the news agency.

He traveled to Tehran to attend the swearing-in of President Hassan Rouhani along with delegates from around the world. It was not immediately clear who was representing Qatar in the ceremony.

Turkey has used a land, air and sea blockade imposed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to flood the tiny peninsula in the Persian Gulf with its goods but Zeybekci said using cargo planes to carry products was not sustainable.   

"We want to make it economic, sustainable and reliable," he said, adding shipments by sea will gain importance.

“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," Zeybekci said.

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