Saudi Arabia officially lifts ban on Egyptian strawberries, peppers
Saudi Arabia has decided to lift a blanket ban on imports of Egyptian peppers and strawberries, the kingdom’s Environment, Water, and Agriculture Ministry announced yesterday, the Saudi Press Agency reports. The ban was put into effect nine months ago, after Saudi authority said shipments of both products contained unsafe levels of residual pesticides. “The lifting of the ban came after the ministry has been reassured of the commitment of Egyptian agricultural exporters to import regulations and restrictions imposed in the Kingdom on the said fruits and vegetables,” the ministry said. The move to end the ban — which comes one day after the Saudi Food and Drug Authority lifted a separate ban on Egyptian guava imports — follows “a number of meetings and negotiations held between an Egyptian delegation and the Saudi health officials,” Egypt’s Agriculture Ministry said in a statement carried by Reuters. Egypt has been working to impose tighter regulations and quality control measures on its exports, particularly those to the GCC.