IN a spectacular U-turn, Turkey has released the respirators bought by Spain, only 24 hours after requisitioning them.
Pedro Sanchez’s Government didn’t seem optimistic that the cargo would be allowed to reach its intended destination.
However, late last night, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha Gonzalez Laya announced on Twitter that after intense diplomatic negotiations, the medical supplies were finally released.
“Thank you Turkey for authorising the export of Turkish respirators bought by two of our autonomous communities Navarra and Castilla-La Mancha in view of the urgency in Spain, we appreciate the gesture of a friend and ally.”
The Spanish Foreign Ministry prior to the Turkish U-turn had also stated that Ankara had allowed most of the Spanish shipment to reach the Iberian peninsula, but that the pending respirators had some registration issues.
This was done to dispel any accusations that Turkey had stolen the cargo from its NATO ally.
A source from Erdogan’s Government told El Pais that: “Taking into consideration the situation in Spain, a friend and ally of NATO, we have held talks to make an exception for the export ban with this shipment.”
The shipment should leave for Spain ‘in the next few hours’.