Saudi Arabia has been putting pressure on local businesses not to trade with Turkey and its industries in a bid to boost its unofficial boycott.

Iran Press/Middle East: According to Middle East Eye, citing information from Turkish officials, the Kingdom has been preventing trucks from carrying fresh fruit and vegetables from crossing the Saudi border. “The relevant authorities have contacted the Saudis about the issue,” said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The trade minister [has] already made a phone call to her Saudi counterpart.”

The Turkish newspaper Dunya also reported that the Saudi government has contacted individual businesses and ordered them not to trade with Turkish companies or buy any products made in Turkey. The government will impose fines on any company which ignores this order.

“[Saudi Arabia] cannot officially reveal this policy due to World Trade Organisation sanctions,” the paper added. “You cannot even sell Turkish goods from Germany because they don’t want anything with a ‘made in Turkey’ stamp.”

The Kingdom has also canceled the employment contracts of high-ranking Turkish nationals working within the Persian Gulf country. Turkey is considering a formal dispute complaint to the WTO and is seeking compensation if it goes ahead.

Over the past few years, relations between Turkey and some of the Persian Gulf States such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been particularly strained due to differences in foreign policy goals and initiatives.

Another issue between the Ankara and Riyadh is still the murder of exiled Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018, which took place within the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. While Saudi Arabia has denied official responsibility for the killing and has blamed it on rogue agents, Turkey has presented evidence which, it insists, proves that it was ordered by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. This month, Turkey put 20 suspects on trial, namely those who were part of the Saudi hit squad who killed Khashoggi.

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