January 23, 2018

Main » United Kingdom fears the Gulf's Qatar blockade is hurting its people

United Kingdom fears the Gulf's Qatar blockade is hurting its people

26 June 2017

It comes after Qatar's Gulf neighbours Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain broke off relations with Doha on 5 June and launched a blockade on the country, after accusing it of supporting "terrorism". Most likely, Qatar will make some concessions to return to the fold.

The Saudi comments were in reaction to remarks by Qatar Airway's chief executive that the kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain were violating worldwide law by shutting out Qatari flights.

He added that he will meet with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates later this week. It was also meant to have a security component, with a defense council to coordinate military matters.

He insisted that only 16% of food imports cross the now-closed land border with Saudi Arabia, although others put the figure far higher. Erdoğan rejected accusations that Qatar supported terrorism, arguing that the country had been a staunch opponent of ISIL.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud over the phone on Tuesday as the diplomatic crisis among some Arab countries with Qatar continued.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have clashed over several issues, including Iran's nuclear program and what Saudis see as Tehran's growing influence in the region - especially in Syria, Lebanon and neighboring Yemen. However, after Qatar was ostracised by the Gulf nations, the things have changed. The move has reportedly increased Iranian air traffic by 17 percent.

On Sunday, Morocco said it would remain neutral in the dispute, offering to mediate between the Gulf countries, which are all close allies to the North African kingdom.

So while Qatar can still buy perishables from the USA, for example, it is experiencing difficulty physically getting the goods to the country.

Seeking to show its backing of Doha, Turkey has fast-tracked a previously planned deployment of soldiers and trainers to Qatar and has begun delivering food and other supplies by air.

Turkey has also send food stocks, mainly milk, yoghurt and poultry, to Qatar to help the Emirate cope with the shortage of commodities entailed by the blockade.

United Kingdom fears the Gulf's Qatar blockade is hurting its people