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Trade block on Syrian is temporary, not embargo


10:10, July 26, 2012

ANKARA, July 25 (Xinhua) -- As clashes between Syrian rebels and government forces have been intensifying in northern Syria, Turkey halted custom services in its border gates with the neighboring country due to the worsening security conditions, but Ankara stressed those measures were temporary and should not be considered as an embargo.

"The Syrian people need electricity these days more than any other day. We'll continue to supply electricity but developments in Syria are getting worse each and every day," Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told reports on Wednesday. The minister declined to comment if such measures will come to the agenda in the future.

Yildiz also said the there would be no change in the ongoing water-sharing procedure with Syria.

Turkey, Iraq and Syria were discussing an agreement to set up a regime to share the water of in the Euphrates-Tigris basin flowing through territories of these three countries.

Turkey announced that it would halt custom services on the Syrian border from Wednesday as the heaviest and steadiest fighting between the government forces and the rebels so far since the 16-month-old disorder posed security thread to Turkish citizens.

Turkish government blocked most of the custom services in border gates with Syria as fierce fighting convulses Aleppo, but left a few exceptions for basic needs of Syrian citizens. Turks will no longer be able to cross through the border and only Syrians fleeing the violence or on personal business will be able to pass through the Turkish-Syrian border.

Border gates with Syria were not closed, but custom services were halted, Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazici told reporters on Wednesday, without saying how long the commerce was being halted.

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