Turk­ish min­is­ter con­demns Is­rael over agro-trade freeze

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Business -

THE Turk­ish Food, Agri­cul­ture and Live­stock min­is­ter yes­ter­day slammed his Is­raeli coun­ter­part af­ter he an­nounced that Is­rael had frozen agri­cul­tural prod­uct im­ports from Turkey.

Min­is­ter Ah­met Eşref Fakıbaba, re­spond­ing to his Is­raeli coun­ter­part Uri Ariel’s twit­ter post, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Is­rael’s move would have no ef­fect on the Turk­ish econ­omy.

“Our coun­try, which is po­si­tioned as an agri­cul­tural ex­porter is well-es­tab­lished and which has agri­cul­tural trade re­la­tions with nu­mer­ous coun­tries, can­not be con­ceiv­ably afraid of im­port freezes by such a small coun­try as Is­rael,” he said, ex­plain­ing that Is­rael had a very small share in the Turk­ish agri­cul­tural trade, con­sti­tut­ing less than 2 per­cent of it.

Fak­ibaba said Turkey’s agri­cul­ture had a dy­namic struc­ture that no longer faced any dif­fi­cul­ties in find­ing al­ter­na­tive mar­kets in the world. “There­fore, it should be known that a small state’s at­tempts at sub­du­ing Turkey through such threats is a fu­tile ef­fort. Is­rael should know Turkey could not be de­terred by such threats.”

The min­is­ter also stressed that no eco­nomic con­cern was big­ger than Turkey’s and the Turk­ish peo­ple’s love for Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and their en­thu­si­asm to de­fend the right cause of Pales­tini­ans.

“It is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able for the min­is­ter of a state that has adopted the pol­icy of per­se­cut­ing the Pales­tinian peo­ple and that is so un­feel­ing as to go to ev­ery length in this di­rec­tion, to at­tempt to threaten Turkey over agri­cul­ture.”

At least 62 Pales­tini­ans were mar­tyred and thou­sands more in­jured by Is­raeli forces along the Gaza bor­der Mon­day.

Thou­sands of Pales­tini­ans gath­ered on the Gaza Strip’s eastern bor­der Mon­day to take part in mass ral­lies to com­mem­o­rate the 70th an­niver­sary of Is­rael’s es­tab­lish­ment - an event Pales­tini­ans re­fer to as the “Nakba” or “the Catas­tro­phe” and to protest the re­lo­ca­tion of the U.S. Em­bassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Since the bor­der ral­lies be­gan on March 30, more than 100 Pales­tinian demon­stra­tors have been mar­tyred by cross-bor­der Is­raeli gun­fire, ac­cord­ing to the Pales­tinian Health Min­istry.

Last week, the Is­raeli government said the on­go­ing bor­der protests con­sti­tuted a “state of war” in which in­ter­na­tional hu­man­i­tar­ian law did not ap­ply.

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