Caglayan: "Turkey will set up an ındustrial zone in the West Bank despite Israeli opposition"
Turkey is determined to develop trade relations with the Palestinian territories, State Minister Zafer Caglayan said yesterday. An industrial zone will be established in the West Bank by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) despite Israeli efforts to block it, he told the Turkey-Palestine Business Forum in Istanbul. Speaking at a press conference after meeting with Palestinian Economy Minister Abu Libdeh at the forum, Caglayan underlined the need to develop trade relations with both the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He said he would lead a delegation of top Turkish businessmen on a trip to Gaza. "I have directed my colleagues to organize a fair to present goods produced in Palestine that could be imported to Turkey," Caglayan said, adding that the industrial zone project was launched by the TOBB while he was still the group's deputy chair. Israel has rejected such industrial zone projects, citing security concerns. For his part, Abu Libdeh praised Turkey as "the holy country" that "is defending Arab nations' rights. We want to benefit from a developed Turkey." He said Palestine wants support from Turkish businesspeople in reconstructing the country and is planning to provide incentives for Turkish companies to invest. Libdeh also said there are tourism opportunities in Palestine and called on companies from both countries to invest together.