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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Qatar's decision to quit Opec points to country's dwindling influence, says Gargash

Doha's departure will force officials to re-calibrate production targets for 14 remaining members

Dr Anwar Gargash speaks to journalists in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. AP
Dr Anwar Gargash speaks to journalists in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. AP

Qatar's decision to quit Opec to focus on gas production points to Doha's recognition of its own dwindling political role and influence, the UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash said on Monday.

Following Qatar's surprise move to quit the cartel next month Dr Gargash said he was anticipating the Qatari media attacks on Opec, which the UAE has been a member of since 1967.

"The economic part of the withdrawal is less important and does not justify the decision at this time," he tweeted.

Despite Qatar being one of the smallest members of Opec, the departure will force officials to re-calibrate production targets for the 14 remaining members.

On Monday former Qatari prime minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani said Qatar's withdrawal was a "wise decision, as this organisation has become useless and does not bring us anything."

However, the country's real target is likely to be neighbouring Saudi Arabia and their allies - the long-standing boycott of Qatar having played a role in the decision.

Apart from crude, Qatar sits on the world's third-largest gas reserves and is the No 1 producer of liquefied natural gas, which is gas cooled to liquid to be transported by ships.

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Read more:

Qatar will withdraw from Opec on January 1

Editorial: Qatar’s Opec pullout hinders GCC unity

Robin Mills: Doha move is a surprise, but not a severe blow

GCC summit date set as Qatar quits Opec