Egypt and Saudi Arabia say Qatar blockade will continue

Announcement comes after talks between Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Qatar Doha image 1 Sorin Furcoi
Qatar has been under a land, sea, and air blockade since June 2017 [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Egypt and Saudi Arabia have jointly announced that their ongoing blockade of Qatar would remain in effect until further notice, according to the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television channel

The two countries on Tuesday reiterated their ongoing refusal to “make any concessions” towards Doha, which has been facing sanctions from four Arab states for more than a year. 

The announcement was made following a meeting in Cairo between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the latter of whom visited Egypt’s capital on Tuesday as part of a regional tour.

Later on Tuesday, Prince Mohammed is expected to arrive in Tunisia where protesters have taken to the streets to oppose to his visit and demand justice for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month in the kingdom’s consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

Ongoing blockade

In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates cut off ties with Qatar and imposed a land, sea, and air blockade on the Gulf state. 

The quartet accuses Doha of supporting terrorism and proscribed opposition political movements, such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

Qatar has repeatedly rejected the accusations as baseless.

Shortly after breaking ties with the country, the quartet issued a list of demands for Qatar, which it had to comply with in order to normalise ties.

The list included demands to shut down the Al Jazeera media network, expelling Turkish troops from the country, cutting off ties with Iran, and making reparation payments to the states. These were also rejected by Qatar, which denounced them as attempts to infringe its sovereignty.

Despite an initial disruption to its supply chains, Qatar has managed to weather the embargo by establishing new trade links, primarily with its ally Turkey, and injecting around $40bn from its ample foreign currency reserves into the economy. 

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies