Has the Qatar Blockade Made Them Stronger?
Aug 12 2017 Comments 0
As most people are now aware, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are leading a blockade on Qatar. They’ve been doing so for the past two months, in fact. But has it had the desired effect? A blockade is supposed to weaken opponents, eventually forcing them to concede. But, according to leading Qatari figures, that’s not been the case.
What is the blockade?
The Qatar blockade, also including the likes of Egypt and Bahrain, has been imposed to force them to accept the will of the surrounding countries. Their demands include closing major broadcaster Al Jazeera, ending co-operation with Iran and evicting the Turkish military base from their land. To achieve this, blockaders have closed borders, cut off exports and even recalled their citizens from the country.
However, according to Qatar Petroleum’s CEO and President, it’s only made the country stronger. “I would like to thank the four countries for their blockade, because it has made Qatar stronger, the people of Qatar stronger, their businesses stronger. We will come out of this much stronger than before,” said Saad Sherida al-Kaabi.
So, how is it possible for the country to continue its strength? It’s largely down to the rise of Qatar Petroleum as one of the world’s leading fuel suppliers. The state-owned company produce over 70 million tonnes of gas each year. They’re the biggest exporter of LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) across the globe – and one of the richest countries as a result.
Despite the blockade, Qatar is continuing to profit from countries in need of LNG, of which there are many. From China and Japan to Germany and the UK – as al-Kaabi put it: “We supply everybody that needs LNG. There is not a buyer of LNG that does not call on Qatar to supply it”.
Continued supply for UAE
The Qatar Petroleum CEO even ruled out any cuts to the UAE gas supply. “We signed a new contract for 10 years supplying two to 300 million cubic feet a day of gas… if you stop the gas, the biggest harm is to the people of the UAE. The people of the UAE are cousins, relatives, and friends… we have nothing against them,” explained al-Kaabi.
With both sides refusing to budge, it’s hard to see where a solution will come from. Qatar is slowly working around problems like airspace restrictions, with an intention to continue their domination of gas. But, despite their resilience, it’s hard to believe claims that the blockade has not weakened the country – even if it is only a temporary problem.
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