Protesting Hauliers Threaten to Close Bulgaria-Turkey Border

Protesting Hauliers Threaten to Close Bulgaria-Turkey Border

Bulgarian hauliers are threatening to block all traffic through the checkpoints on the country's border with Turkey if an ongoing dispute between Ankara and Sofia over transit permits for international transport is not resolved immediately, the Bulgarian National Television reported.

A 15-kilometre line of trucks has formed at Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint, as protesting hauliers let through only automobiles and buses, the broadcaster reported.

Bulgaria and Turkey 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, the two countries 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.

On Saturday Bulgaria's transport ministry said officials of the two countries will try to resolve the dispute at a meeting in Ankara on February 21.

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