Ankara: Turkey on Thursday announced a new set of Sanctions against Syria as ties between the two former allies strained further over the Damascus regime's deadly crackdown on opponents.

"We will impose 30 percent tax on goods coming from Syria," Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazici was quoted as saying by a private television.

However the news agency did not give a precise tax rate but  quoted the minister as saying that it would be in compliance with the standards set by the World Trade Organization(WTO).
       
"Both they (Syrians) and we are members of the WTO. We will not exceed the standard envisaged by the WTO," Anatolia quoted Yazici as saying.

After suspending a free trade pact with Ankara, Syria began imposing around 30 per cent tax on some goods from Turkey, said the minister according to the agency.
   
However  the ministry was not immediately available for comment.
   
On November 30, Turkey announced a raft of punitive sanctions on President Bashar al-Assad's regime for its months-long deadly crackdown on anti-regime protests.

Among the initial measures, Ankara announced an immediate ban on transactions with the Syrian government and its central bank, as well as a freeze on Syrian government assets in Turkey.
   
Damascus retaliated by suspending a 2004 free trade agreement reached with Ankara after long negotiations.  It also raised import duties at the customs, increased fuel oil prices and delayed truck transports.

"Syria will pay a high cost for these sanctions," Yazici said. Another measure announced by the minister is a ban on vehicles registered in Syria and over 20 years old.
   
Turkey has also been seeking alternative routes to bypass Syria for trade with the Middle East.

Today Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan said the government  was contemplating over three alternative routes through Egypt's Alexandria, Lebanon and Iraq.
   
"Our Plans A, B, C are all ready," said Caglayan.

Frustrated by Syria's retaliatory measures, Caglayan had also signalled Turkey's additional sanctions could be even more severe.

 

(Agencies)