A Saudi-led bloc of Arab nations is considering new economic sanctions against Qatar and may ask trading partners to choose between them or Doha, the UAE’s ambassador to Russia has said.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt ended diplomatic relations with Qatar earlier this month, and enforced a blockade on Doha from land, sea and air.
A 13-point list of demands was then issued by the states, giving Qatar ten days to comply.
“There are certain economic sanctions that we can take which are being considered right now,” UAE ambassador to Moscow Omar Ghobash told The Guardian newspaper in an interview in London.
“One possibility would be to impose conditions on our own trading partners and say you want to work with us then you have got to make a commercial choice,” he said.
The expulsion of Qatar from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was “not the only sanction available”, the UAE ambassador added.
Signalling Washington’s mounting frustration at Riyadh’s role in the crisis, US state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert recently called on the parties to settle their differences.
She called into question whether Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism is the true cause of the crisis or whether there is an underlying political dispute.