ISTANBUL, June 17 (Xinhua) — Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said Saturday that his country has supplied 5,000 tons of food to Qatar facing a blockade by a number of Muslim countries.
The minister said the supplies were sent to Qatar with 71 planes after the Gulf country was plunged into a crisis on June 5, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and some other countries severed diplomatic ties and closed off sea, air and land links to Doha, accusing it of funding terrorism, hosting terrorists and interfering with their internal affairs.
“Our shipments via sea route will also begin this weekend,” Zeybekci said at a TV program in Istanbul. “Right now our trucks are on their way.”
“Turkey could supply all the humanitarian needs of Qatar,” he was quoted as saying by the Haberturk daily.
Turkey has been siding with Qatar and pushing for a settlement through dialogue.
Addressing a meeting of Turkish exporters in Istanbul on Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated a call for the resolution of the dispute before the Muslim’s holy month of Ramadan ends on June 24.
The president said Turkey’s prime minister and foreign minister are working hard with him to resolve the crisis by meeting with all the sides involved.
Erdogan referred to Saudi Arabia as the “big brother” of the Gulf countries, saying he believes Riyadh is capable of solving the issue.