4 Mideast nations to form free trade zone
Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria have agreed to set up a free trade zone, complete with a visa-free travel regime for their nationals, according to Agence France-Presse.
The four countries said in a joint declaration at a Turkey-Arab forum in Istanbul last week that they will establish a cooperative council 'to develop a long-term strategic partnership' and 'create a zone of free movement of goods and persons among our countries.'
The free trade zone will be based on 'existing bilateral agreements and practices on free trade and visa exemption' between the parties, the statement said, adding that Turkey and Lebanon were required to complete a bilateral arrangement before the four-way process could go ahead. 'The quadripartite mechanism ' will be open to the participation of all the other brotherly and friendly countries in the region.'