Protesting Hauliers Lift Blockade of Bulgaria-Turkey Border

Protesting Hauliers Lift Blockade of Bulgaria-Turkey Border

Protesting Bulgarian hauliers ended their road blockade at the checkpoints on the country's border with Turkey after Ankara and Sofia made a breakthrough in a dispute over transit haulage permits, the Bulgarian National Television (BNT) reported.

The two countries issue an equal number of transit transport permits to each other's hauliers, as the exact number is negotiated on an annual basis. For 2014, however, they have failed to reach an agreement,  prompting Turkey in late January to stop accepting as valid Bulgarian hauliers' transit permits and Bulgaria to take a reciprocal step, closing the border to truck traffic.

Bulgaria has agreed to issue immediately 100,000 permits to Turkish hauliers, in exchange for which Turkey will recognise as valid the Bulgarian hauliers' permits, BNT reported, quoting deputy prime minister Daniela Bobeva.

Shortly after midnight the border reopened to traffic, the broadcaster added.

Officials of the two countries will meet in Ankara on Monday to continue talks on the issue.

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