Qatar food imports hit after Arab nations cut ties

Frederick Owens
June 5, 2017

We will remind, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE on Monday morning announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Qatar, expulsion of diplomats and ordinary citizens, the termination of transport communication with the country.

"You have a shift in the balance of power in the Gulf now because of the new presidency: Trump is strongly opposed to political Islam and Iran", said Jean-Marc Rickli, head of global risk and resilience at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

According to the press agency, GACA has said that all airlines and non-registered aircraft in Qatar wishing to cross the kingdom's airspace from Qatar have to contact the authority within one week to determine the necessary procedures for continued operation across Saudi airspace. Bankers in Saudi Arabia and the UAE said the situation was normal and they had received no guidance from their central banks on ties.

The coordinated move dramatically escalates a dispute over Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the world's oldest Islamist movement, and adds accusations that Doha even backs the agenda of regional arch-rival Iran.

Tillerson urged the Gulf Cooperation Council nations to sort out their differences and said that the United States was willing to play a role in helping the countries address their differences.

In Sydney, Tillerson said he didn't believe the diplomatic crisis would affect the war against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

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A picture taken on June 5, 2017 shows a man walking past the Qatar Airways branch in the Saudi capital Riyadh, after it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia following a severing of relations between major gulf states and gas-rich Qatar.

"Whilst Qatar is the member of the USA coalition against IS, wealthy individuals have reportedly made donations to extremist groups and the government is also accused of supporting extremists - allegations that Qatar vehemently deny", Tamas Varga, oil associates analyst at PVM, said in an email on Monday.

Some Egyptian banks said they were halting dealing with Qatari banks. Etihad is the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates. At that time, travel links were maintained and Qataris were not expelled. This will affect Qatar's covert financing of Islamist groups of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Saudi Arabia's support for other similar groups.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani says Doha is the victim of a "hostile media campaign", particularly in the United States.

Reza Nourani, chairman of Iran's Union of Exporters of Agricultural Products, was quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency as saying that Tehran could export food to Qatar by sea, which could reach the country in 12 hours. Qatar shares a massive offshore gas field with the Islamic Republic.

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