The news comes two weeks after #Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and #Egypt blocked several Qatari media outlets - including Al Jazeera - over comments allegedly made by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Al Hamad Al Thani. Al Thani reportedly hailed Iran as an "Islamic power" and criticized US President Donald Trump's policy towards Tehran.

The map above, showing the position of Qatar in relation to UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, serves as a good tool to be able to have a general outlook as to just how the options that Qatar has in relation to trade with its neighbours is limited, plus it's movements as all the named countries have suspended all air, sea and land travel to or from Qatar, escalating the conflict which was started with Qatar's relations with Iran.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Qatar's isolation comes amid rumors of supporting terrorism

Saudi state news agency SPA said Qatar "embraces multiple terrorists and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS (Islamic State) and al-Qaeda, and promotes the message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly."

In a statement, the Qatari foreign ministry said: "The measures are unjustified and are based on false and baseless claims. "The aim is clear, and it is to impose guardianship on the state. This by itself is a violation of its [Qatar's] sovereignty as a state. "The Qatari government will take all measures necessary... to foil attempts to affect or harm Qatar's society and economy."

The news which was said to be a product of a hack came from Qatar's official news agency.

Advertisements

The Ministry of Culture and Information is said to have shut down Al-Jazeera offices in Saudi Arabia, this coming from the State News Twitter account. Saudi also recently completed a military equipment deal with the U.S during President Trump's recent visit to the area.

Qatar index down to worst level since 2016

Every blue-chip share on the Qatar stock market fell sharply on Monday morning. Many stocks - including property and energy companies - have slumped by 10%, which is the maximum daily move allowed by regulators. Even the best-performing stock on the QSI index is down 6%, as investors are spooked by the sudden freeze in relations with other #Gulf States. The Qatar index is currently down by 7.5%, hitting its worst level since early 2016.

On Monday the Qatar stock market looked like the biggest selloff the likes that were only witnessed during the financial crisis. Oil is also up selling at $50 a barrel. Futures slipped 0.6 percent in New York, erasing an earlier gain of 1.6 percent, and while the diplomatic spat hasn’t affected shipments, any further escalation could raise the prospect of supply disruptions from the Middle East.

Advertisements

According to the latest data, five of the top 10 oil producers in the world are Gulf countries; Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, UAE, Kuwait. Together, they are responsible for over 24 million barrels of crude a day, or over two and a half times the US’s crude production.

Qatar is a minor player among the OPEC big boys. However, its strength is aligned with LNG (liquefied natural gas). It’s the world’s largest LNG producer, supplying almost 30% of global production. By land, Qatar is completely blocked by Saudi Arabia. By sea, its exporting tankers have to pass through the Strait of Hormuz, situated between Iran and the UAE. Asian customers such as Japan, India, and South Korea would be the most affected by a disruption in LNG service them being the major importers of Qatari gas.

Consequences of the ban

The Gulf states have ordered Qatari diplomats to leave within 48 hours, Qatari citizens have been told they have 14 days to leave Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE, and those countries also banned their own citizens from entering Qatar. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have stopped exports of white sugar to Qatar. Qatar is dependent on the UAE and Saudi Arabia for its white sugar imports, which are estimated at less than 100,000 tons annually. After some Egyptian banks halted dealings with Qatar, the Egyptian central banks released a statement saying it had not issued instructions to do so and urged the nation's banks to continue accepting the Qatari riyal.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting Yemen's Houthi rebels also expelled Qatar from its alliance, alleging support of "al Qaeda and Daesh [also known as ISIS], as well as dealing with the rebel militias," according to Saudi's state media agency.

Dubai-based airline Emirates said it is suspending all flights to and from Doha, the capital of Qatar, starting Today. Emirates said it was instructed to do so by the UAE government. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways will also suspend its Doha flights on Wednesday. Other airways in the countries involved are expected to follow suit.

Qatar is due to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but FIFA declined requests for comment on whether the tournament will be affected.

The US' which has it's largest concentration of military personnel in the Middle East located at Qatar's Al Udeid Air Base. The sprawling base 20 miles southwest of Doha is home to some 11,000 US military personnel. No word has been given as to if the recent events will also affect these soldiers.