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Turkish government allegedly ‘seizes’ a shipment of ventilators bought by Spain

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Turkish Airlines aircraft at Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Turkish Airlines aircraft at Istanbul Ataturk Airport. Image: Wikimedia Commons.


UPDATE: In the next few hours, Turkey will allow the departure of medical material to Spain, thanks to the discreet diplomacy of the Spanish Government.

Turkish authorities have blocked a plane from China loaded with ventilators purchased by Spain in Ankara, said Foreign Minister of Spain Arancha Gonzalez Laya, who hopes that “within a few weeks” this material will be sent after they have been used by the coronavirus-infected Turks.

This scandal comes on top of the seizure of one million Spanish masks by the French government, which intended to requisition, on the basis of a government order, a shipment of four million masks that were passing through its territory and that were mainly destined for Spain and Italy. After two weeks blocked in French lands, France released one million of them for Spain and one million for Italy thanks to the pressure of the diplomacy of Sweden, country that sold the goods.

Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya, informed this Friday that the Turkish government has decided to keep the shipment of ventilators acquired by Spanish public administrations because it considers it a “priority” to treat the cases of coronavirus that are emerging in the country.

According to Foreign Minister Gonzalez Laya, what the Turkish government has “guaranteed” to Spain is that “in a reasonable period of time, in a few weeks”, the shipment of ventilators will be made available again to our country, although it has not specified any approximate date.

UPDATE 2: Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya in La Sexta TV: “Those ventilators were not on a plane and had not been requisitioned by the Turkish authorities. We had two purchases made, one by Castilla-La Mancha and the other by Navarra, from a Turkish manufacturing company, but Turkey delayed their shipment to Spain. There were some missing licenses in order to leave the country. Turkey understood at first that this equipment was going to be necessary for them to fight against the coronavirus in Turkey. But in response to the various calls we have made, discreetly but also forcefully, they have understood that the urgency today is in Spain.

On Saturday, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the government authorized the transfer of ventilators to Spain. Cavusoglu said a total of 94 countries requested medical equipment and items from Turkey in order to battle the virus, and it was not possible to meet the needs of all as Turkey itself needed such equipment, AA reported.

Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya confirmed Cavusoglu’s remarks in a Twitter post, and said Spain appreciated the “gesture of a friend and ally”.

-TN


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