The economic and political sanctions imposed on Qatar earlier this month that have already reshaped regional trade in the Middle East look like they could become permanent. Time is running out for Qatar to comply with 13 demands stipulated by its Gulf Arab neighbours. It has six days to meet their demands which centre around the support of terrorist groups or face permanent isolation.
“Qatar is not responding positively to what we’ve sent,” UAE government spokesman Omar Ghobash told the BBC yesterday, adding: “I think the whole idea would be to ultimately, simply disengage from Qatar.”
The diplomatic spat has seen many liners cancel calls to Qatar while Qatari authorities have scrambled to fix new shipping routes linking Doha to destinations in Oman and India to ensure daily supplies get in. Meanwhile, Qatar has also had to handle some disruptions to shipments of LNG in the wake of the standoff.