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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Qatar bans goods from UAE and Saudi Arabia as boycott anniversary approaches

Products from the four countries to cut relations with Doha have been pulled off the shelves

A woman shops in a supermarket in Doha, Qatar June 7, 2017. Reuters
A woman shops in a supermarket in Doha, Qatar June 7, 2017. Reuters

Qatar said it will not be allowing products from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, a year after the four countries cut relations with Doha over its support for terrorism.

"Products originating from the blockading states, which as a result of the blockade cannot pass the Gulf Cooperation Council Customs Territory, have to undergo proper import inspections and customs procedures," a Qatari government statement said late on Saturday.

The four states cut diplomatic and transport ties last June. Saudi Arabia shut Qatar's only land border less than a week after the diplomatic dispute broke out on June 5, 2017.

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Doha has since been forced to airlift staples, such as dairy products and eggs, at up to nine times the cost of transporting those foods by land.

Imports into Qatar plunged about 40 per cent from a year earlier in the initial weeks of the boycott, but they have since mostly returned to normal as Doha has found new sources of products in countries such as Turkey, and developed new shipping routes through places such as Oman.

Since last June, some foods and other products from the embargo states have continued to find their way into Qatar through third countries.

Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said his country has experienced a dramatic drop in terrorist attacks since cutting relations with Qatar. He added that he sees no end in sight for the 11-month boycott.