Saudi Arabia’s ‘secret embargo’ on Turkish trucks lifted for second time

Saudi Arabia allowed the entry of 73 container trucks from Turkey into its Red Sea port of Duba after a delay of more than two weeks, Turkish media including the Hürriyet newspaper reported.

It was the second time this summer that Saudi Arabia held up the import of Turkish goods, which have included textiles and perishable food, after a similar ‘secret embargo’ in July.

Diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey remain fraught after a political crisis between the two countries erupted in October last year over the murder of dissident Saudi journalist and Muslim Brotherhood supporter Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. Leading Saudi business groups including the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry have called for a complete boycott on Turkish products.

The trucks were allowed into the country after an intervention by Turkish diplomats in Riyadh and Jeddah, Hürriyet reported. The trucks had been diverted into an area surrounded by wire mesh and several drivers had fallen sick due to the heat and humidity, the newspaper said.