“The boycott is expensive but manageable,” says Florence Eid-Oakden, chief economist at Arabia Monitor. “There was an immediate knock-on effect, but that was short term and the economy adjusted. Qatar is a small country: there aren’t many mouths to feed compared to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, so a few flights of food restocked supermarkets.”
Although it is unclear how the conflict will evolve, Dr. Eid-Oakden points to a number of repercussions for the entire region should the spat continue.
She says one “unfortunate impact” is that it will drive Qatar closer to Iran and Turkey – exactly the opposite of what the Saudis want. “If Qatar is given no choice but to use Iranian airspace, which it is now doing, and to import food items from Iran, and to rely on Turkish soldiers to boost its defences, it will do so,” she says.
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