Published On: Sat, Aug 5th, 2017

Iran, Turkey, Qatar mull land route amid Saudi crisis

Araweelo News Network

Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci makes an inauguration speech during the Turkey-Qatar B2B Meeting in Izmir, Aug. 3, 2017.

Ankara(ANN)-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.

Imported Turkish goods are seen in a supermarket in Doha, on June 9, 2017.

According to Turkish media reports, Turkey’s exports to Qatar totaled $52.4 million in June from $36.2 million a month earlier.

Doha with its mostly foreign population of 2.6 million relies on Persian Gulf neighbors for 80 percent of food imports. However, its fierce spat with the Saudi-led quartet has prompted the country to accelerate relationship with Iran and Turkey which have said they are happy to help to compensate for the boycott and stave off shortages.

A man walks past the Qatar Airways branch in Riyadh after it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia following a severing of relations between major Persian Gulf states and Qatar. (Photo by AFP)

Qatar and Iran share management of the world’s largest gas field, South Pars, in the Persian Gulf.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said last month that his country needed a healthy and constructive relationship with neighboring Iran as opposed to demands by Saudi Arabia and its allies that Doha downgrade ties with Tehran.

Iran acted quickly as soon as the spat began, sending several planeloads and ships of food and other commodities across the Persian Gulf to Qatar. However, Turkey has overtaken Iran in replenishing the stocks in the Arab country.

“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.

About the Author

- #Arraale Mohamoud Jama is a freelance and investigative journalist, writer and human rights activist with more than 20 years of experience. He writes about a range of topics related to social issues such as human rights, politics and security. Other topics in which Mr. Arraale is interested include democracy and good governance. Mr. Arraale has written extensively on regional and international events, and has worked with Somaliland newspapers and Human rights organizations. In 2008, he established #Araweelo #News #website# Network, which he currently manages. For further information, please contact: or Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 + 252 63 442 5380 /

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