Saudi Arabia Restores Diplomatic Relation With Qatar, Ends A Three And Half Year Interdiction06. January 2021
Since October 2017, an embargo was imposed on Qatar by four Arab nations namely Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Almost after three and half years, on the fourth of Jan Saudi Arabia announced an end to this blockade and restored a degree of normalcy between the two nations, members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The Saudi Foreign Ministry also announced that Egypt, Bahrain, and the UAE also resumed ties with Qatar during the 41st GCC Summit on Friday, 5th of Jan 2021. Kuwait who assumed the role of a mediator is hailing this step as a breakthrough.
The Qatar Government has handled this so-called crisis in a very positive and effective manner. They ensured that the lives of their residents were virtually unaffected. Timing has also played an important role as in September 2017, only three months after the blockade was in place, the Government officially opened the $7.4 Billion(£5.8 billion) deep-water Hamad Port. This deep-water cargo port enabled Qatar to receive much larger cargo ships than in the past. The hydrocarbon wealth in the country has ensured that Qatar has steadily expanded despite the embargo. Doha, the capital city has also dramatically boosted its domestic food production and has developed alternative trade links and flight routes. This level of self-sufficiency across the transport, food, and agricultural sector has only made Qatar more autarkical and independent in handling their supply chains.
Mr. Manssoor Ghanim from Jet Shipping & Logistics Global Qatar, representing Qatar in the Project Logistics Alliance, commented – ‘‘The industrial sector of Qatar has used the blockade as an opportunity to diversify and expand local production wherever possible. After the illegal blockade, my country learned and prepared to fight another unexpected battle – the Coronavirus pandemic.’’ He further elaborates, that Qatar has achieved the top spot for food security in the Middle East.
Sharing a similar optimistic attitude Mr. Shankar KS, CEO of our fellow Qatari member, Aqua Global Logistics, explains – ‘‘This is good news for all us in the region. The re-opening of borders and restoration of diplomatic relations between Qatar & Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE & Egypt will give a good boost to the economies and increase trade. This augurs well for Logistics companies as a result. We will see increased business opportunities in all directions of the concerned nations.’’
Although it is too early to comment on how shipping and project logistics will not help Qatar but also other GCC countries after the dissolution of this embargo between fellow GCC members. But we are optimistic, this will work well for all the concerned parties and especially for the land shipments which will start moving ex-Saudi Arabia to Qatar and vice versa.
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