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Qatar bans goods from Arab rivals 1 year into diplomatic crisis

Qatar bans goods from Arab rivals 1 year into diplomatic crisis
Qatar is stripping shop shelves of goods that come from rival nations embroiled in the nearly year-long diplomatic spat with Doha. Items imported from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt are now off-limits.

The economic ministry on Saturday ordered Qatari shops to remove goods imported from the four countries at once. Inspectors will be visiting shops to ensure compliance.

"Products originating from blockading states, which as a result of the blockade cannot pass the GCC customs territory, have to undergo proper import inspections and customs procedures," Qatar's Government Communications Office (GCO) said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have imposed trade embargoes on Qatar as part of the diplomatic row that has been at a slow boil for almost a year, since early June 2015. Then, Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of "supporting terrorism" and allying itself with Iran, a major rival for several Sunni-majority Gulf nations. Diplomatic relations have since been cut.

In April, however, Qatar took part in the joint Gulf Shield military drills in Saudi Arabia along with 25 other nations. Later that month, the Saudi foreign minister tried to bully Qatar into sending troops to Syria to support anti-government rebels, implying that it risks losing US support and facing a revolution at home otherwise.

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