Gulf nations still at risk from spat with Qatar, Moody's says

Saudi Qatar

Saudi Qatar

Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Qatar is a leading natural gas supplier and the Persian Gulf is a choke point for the flow of energy supplies from the region.

Muraikhi's remarks sparked angry reactions from Ahmed al-Qattan, Saudi Arabia's envoy to the Arab League, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Emirati State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash, with the Qatari minister and Qattan even telling each other to "be quiet".

The bitter dispute between Gulf states and Qatar threatened to deepen amid a slanging match between rival ministers over the status of Iran.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar on June 5, falsely accusing Doha of supporting Islamists.

They presented Qatar with a list of demands, among them downgrading ties with Iran, and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face unspecified consequences.

"Everyone knows the reality of the destructive Iranian role toward the Arab states, especially the Gulf states, with its interference in internal affairs and destabilizing and undermining the security of the GCC states", he said.

Qattan, who is also his country's Permanent Representative to the Arab League and the Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps accredited to the host country of Egypt, now leading the Kingdom's delegation to the 148th session of the Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, added that the Kingdom is keen on the unity and sovereignty of Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya.

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"The four countries will continue to adhere to these demands until Qatar responds to these demands", he said.

Arab foreign ministers meet during a regular session in Cairo.

In response, Qattan said: "Congratulations to Iran and soon, God willing, you will regret it".

"If the brethren in Qatar think they may have a benefit in their rapprochement with Iran, I'd like to say that they have this evaluation wrong in every way". Qatar denies the charges and says the economic boycott aims at neutering an independent foreign policy it says promotes peaceful regional reform and fighting terrorism.

A number of businessmen in Qatar have called for greater support for national products and for products from boycotting countries not to be imported.

Qatar recalled its ambassador to Tehran in January past year after Saudi Arabia cut ties with the Islamic Republic, following angry protests held outside its embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad against the kingdom's execution of senior Shiite cleric Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr.

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