Stores in Qatar Told to Take Products from Saudi Arabia Off Shelves

Qatar ordered retailers across the Gulf Coast country to stop the sales of products from Saudi Arabia as well as other countries that have severed with the nation close to one year ago.

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates launched a commercial and political boycott of Qatar in June of 2017, accusing the country of supporting terrorism.

Qatar at once turned to countries such as Turkey for help in replacing supplies such as food along with other important imports that were suddenly cut off.

However, third parties have been bringing certain products into the country from the nations that launched the boycott through channels authorities call illegal, said sources, but the source would not be identified due to the matter being very sensitive.

The government Qatari said through a prepared statement over the weekend that the directive sent to retailers to take products from the boycotting countries off their store shelves was intended to protect the consumer and to fight smuggling.

Products that are involved include goods like food, meat and dairy whose quality must be controlled said the source. A ban on sales of goods from boycotting countries has been in effective in Qatar since the first days of the ongoing crisis, however the government has sensed an increased in the amount of smuggling said the source.

The tiny country’s standoff with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other nations in the Arab world that have taken part in this boycott does not show any signs of ending.

Qatari government officials have denied the accusations the country supports terrorism. After it weathered the initial shock a year ago, the government of Qatar says it adapted to its new environment.

It previously focused on economic integration in the Gulf Cooperation Council or GCC a trade bloc of six member nations with a common customs and market union. Since the start of last year’s boycott, it has looked to diversify trading relationships.

The energy wealth Qatar has, has been helpful in riding out the disruption in the economy. It is the leading exporter in the world of liquefied natural gas, which represents nearly 30% of the worldwide global demand. Its biggest clients include India, Japan and South Korea.