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Qatar Launches New Shipping Routes to Oman Amid Food Shortage Fears

13 Juin 2017

Qatar denies the allegations, but its ties to Iran and embrace of various Islamist groups have put the country under intense scrutiny. Both Tehran and Ankara have been sending foodstuffs to Qatar amid the blockage of transit routes by Saudi Arabia and the other countries.

Thani said that Qatar was in contact with worldwide aviation authorities and legal organizations as it tries to fight back against moves by Saudi Arabia and its allies to cut off its land, air, and sea access.

The UK's Government says it is concerned that collective action by Gulf states is having an adverse impact on the lives of ordinary people in Qatar. "Those residents have the complete freedom in staying in the state of Qatar in accordance with the laws and regulations adopted by the state".

Qatar has called those charges baseless.

Qatar's new and state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport in Doha serves as a major transit hub for some 37 million passengers a year, largely between Europe and Asia.

After meeting Qatari foreign minister Mohammed al Thani, Mr Johnson urged Qatar "to take seriously their neighbours' concerns".

"We in Qatar are prepared to engage in dialogue positively, but in accordance with the worldwide norms and standards that govern any dialogue as per global law", Sheikh Mohammed said.

"Iran offered help, as well as other friendly countries".

The import dependent Qatar witnessed an unprecedented chaos inside supermarkets and stores as a lot of Qatari nationals and expatriates rushed to stock up on food items over fears of shortage.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said Monday the two sides should resolve their differences through negotiations.

But the Kuwaiti-backed search for a solution has been buffeted by conflicting signals emanating from Washington.

Qahtani added: "When it comes to terrorism, Qatar has never supported terrorism, Qatar does not support terrorism, Qatar will not support terrorism".

While praising Qatar's restraint during the crisis, he added: "In finding a resolution, I call on Qatar to take seriously their neighbors' concerns".

"Our annual results once again reflect the success of our expansion and growth strategy", Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al-Baker said in a statement.

Turkey and Iran have been providing food and water supplies to Qatar.

Iran has started sending fruit and vegetables to Qatar after Gulf nations cut trade links with the emirate. At the same time, it said on Sunday that Qatari banks are strong enough to survive the pullout of all Gulf money and a quarter of their other foreign holdings.

A Qatari commercial banker told Reuters on Monday that local banks were evaluating the risks if the crisis continued, but they remained able to operate: "There's less panic now but also there's no complacency".

"I think this is not about counterterrorism, it's not about terror financing", he said.