Saudi customs officials allow Turkish trucks to cross border after weeks

Saudi Arabia has allowed Turkish goods trucks access to the Kingdom after holding them at the border for 12 days, Daily Sabah reported on Saturday.

Access to Saudi Arabia was blocked at the border for Turkey vehicles on July 21, Daily Sabah reported.

Turkish daily Yeniçağ reported on July 25 that the Saudi blockade of Turkish goods had begun weeks previously, and also prevented deliveries of Turkish goods from entering the Kingdom through its airports.

Eighty-five Turkish trucks held at the port town of Duba on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast have been allowed entry after efforts by Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan and Turkish diplomats, Daily Sabah said.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been at odds since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman came to power in 2017 due to conflicting interests in the region. The crown prince last year accused Turkey, Qatar, and Iran of forming an “axis of evil” in the region by supporting extremist groups.

The tensions between the countries peaked after the murder last October of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident journalist and vocal critic of Salman who went missing on Oct. 2, during a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

After two weeks of official denials, Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi was killed at the consulate and arrested 18 people related to the murder.