Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have said that diplomatic and trade sanctions against Qatar will continue after Doha refused to implement changes demanded by them in order for them to ease their blockade.

What does Qatar crisis mean for business in the Gulf

Join today’s live-streamed discussion with the MEED team and have your questions answered this Thursday at 13:00 (GST).

The live-streamed discussion is available exclusively to MEED subscribers and will examine the impact of the blockade on business in Qatar. It will consider the possible next steps in the dispute and what the consequences for the region might be. And it will discuss what approach businesses should adopt in response to the crisis.

Take part in a live-streamed discussion with the MEED team and have your questions answered this Thursday at 13:00 (GST).

MEED Live panellists:

  • · MEED Editorial Director Richard Thompson
  • · MEED Projects Director of Content & Analysis Ed James
  • · MEED Power & Water Editor Andrew Roscoe

Speaking after a meeting of foreign ministers in Cairo on 6 July, Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said Doha’s response was “negative and lacked any content”.

The four states along with several other Arab governments cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar on 5 June, accusing it of supporting terrorism and calling for a change in its foreign policy.

On 22 June, they issued a list of 13 demands that they said Doha must comply with in order for them to lift their blockade and gave Doha until 3 July to comply.

The demands included ending support for the Muslim Brotherhood, cutting ties with Iran and closing state-owned TV broadcaster Al-Jazeera.

The deadline was subsequently extended by 48 hours on 3 July after Qatar sent its formal response to Kuwaiti mediators.

Following the meeting in Cairo held to consider Doha’s respose, a joint statement announced that existing sanctions would remain in place.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir said further steps would be taken against Qatar at the appropriate time, and would be in line with international law.

However, the quartet held back from an immediate escalation of the dispute by not imposing extra sanctions or expel Qatar from the GCC.

The statement said that Doha lacked “understanding of the seriousness and gravity of the situation.”

Speaking in London before the four ministers’ statement, the Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said that Doha was the victim of aggression by its GCC neigbours, who resented Qatar’s independent and liberal approach, and asserted his country’s sovereign right to set its own foreign policy.

He described the cutting of ties with his country as “a siege that is a clear aggression and an insult”.

Following the foreign ministers’ meeting in Cairo, the quartet of blockading countries appear to be poised to implement further sanctions that could force other countries and companies to have to choose between doing business with them, or with Qatar.