Wealthy Qatar Weathers Siege, but Personal and Political Costs Grow

DOHA, Qatar – A young executive had to cancel a family vacation at $ 150,000 in Saudi Arabia. Another woman lamented that deliveries of fashion designer-a-Porter Net internet store took several days to arrive.

Others said they do not like the taste of fresh milk from Turkey in the shops, preferring ancient Arabia variety, but a tycoon has offered a solution: he intends to fly 4,000 cows Qatar, the case of the largest airline of won.

Qatar was besieged last month, but the heavily populated Persian Gulf nation is hitherto a problem.

When four Arab countries blocked Qatar airspace and shipping channels last month in order to force it to abandon its uncontrollable foreign policy and close its influential television channel, Al Jazeera, there was a first flurry of panic as it emptied the shelves of some supermarkets. But it declined rapidly, and since then the gas-rich nation has deployed its great treasure to keep its 300,000 people in the luxurious comfort to which they are accustomed.

A small thumb-shaped country sticking out of the Persian Gulf, Qatar depends on Saudi Arabia for its only land border, which is now closed. Camels and migrant workers trapped on the wrong side of the border when the crisis broke out were stuck.

Qatar Airways, whose flights were forced to leave the region via Iranian airspace, can accommodate up to eight additional tranches of transport to bring fresh fruit, meat and vegetables to Doha, the capital.

Executives ordered Sunday for new cargo aircraft and large air-conditioning facilities from the company at Doha airport, employees said they foresaw little difficulty handling the cargo increase.

A $ 7 billion port, which began operating in December, is expected to resume the rest of the slack with shipments from new suppliers in Iran, India and elsewhere. The Government of Qatar emphasizes the bill.

“We can cover the financial aspect without even touching our investments,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani, a ruling clan member and official government communications. “This is not a problem.”

For the countries that lead to the blockade – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain – the challenge to the economic siege in the world’s richest per capita country stands out.

On June 22, the four countries issued a list of 13 suits against Qatar, including reducing alleged links with terrorist organizations, stopping Al Jazeera and closing a small Turkish military base. Qatar said ultimatums amounted to a requirement of abandoning its sovereignty.

Closed by Arab neighbors, Qatar must rely on shipments from countries such as Iran and India in the recently inaugurated Hamad port. Credit Naseem Zeitoon / Reuters
The initial deadline for responding to these requests was midnight on Sunday.

But Qatar – which is in a vast and lucrative gas industry – said it had no intention of giving an inch. “We are ready to face all the consequences,” Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said on Saturday.

The four countries agreed to a request from Kuwait, which acted as a mediator in the dispute, to extend to 48 hours in the Doha compliance deadline, according to a statement released by the Saudi Arabia Press Agency.

However, even if they seem to gain economic spread much Qataris feel the effects in other ways. And deepening the crisis has dramatic effects across the Gulf and hitting political unity.

Experts warn that the crisis could destabilize the wider region if it persists for months or more, as many fear.

The fight against Qatar has already spread beyond the Gulf, sucking on Turkey, which supports Doha and Russia, which tried to carry a middle ground in the conflict. President Vladimir V.

Putin’s Russia said Saturday that it had spoken with the leaders of Qatar and Bahrain with the aim of stimulating dialogue.

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