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Qatar increasingly isolated in diplomatic dispute

Tuesday, June 06, 2017 - 01:41

Most of Qatar's land, air and sea ports are being blocked amid a diplomatic dispute with some its Middle Eastern neighbours. It's seen the country's stocks and currency drop and as Kate King reports it's also affecting consumers.

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Qatar airways forced to re-route over Iran, after Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain banned Qatari planes from their airspace after accusing the nation of backing terrorism. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JAMES HUGHES, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, GKFX, SAYING: "With long haul flights from Europe from the US going to Australia into China in the Far East often stop over in Doha. So it's that issue which is going to be a number one." Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have now gone a step further, revoking the airline's licences and ordering the closure of its offices within 48 hours. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SAUDI NATIONAL, GHANAS AL GHNAS, SAYING: "We're trying to get refunds, not just for flight but for the hotel, rental car and the visa? Only some of them are refundable." Qatar's stock market fell another 1.6 percent after a 7 percent drop on Monday. The riyal was also down against the U.S. dollar. Some Saudi Arabian, UAE and Bahraini banks are also said to be delaying business with Qatari lenders. The spat saw crude oil prices slip further below 50 dollars a barrel. SOUNDBITE (English) IG SENIOR ANALYST, CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SAYING: "The official motive is because of Qatar's funding of terrorism. But clearly there's more of a Iran dynamic coming through here and you're witnessing a Saudi Arabia that's fundamentally more nervous about its place that has been." With an estimated $335 billion of assets in its sovereign wealth fund and vast natural gas reserves, Qatar can hold its own. But with land and sea links also cut off Qataris have been empyting supermarket shelves in panic. As much as 85 percent of its food exports come through the now closed border with saudi

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Qatar increasingly isolated in diplomatic dispute

Tuesday, June 06, 2017 - 01:41