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Qatar under quarantine

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17.06.2017

Shoppers stock up on supplies at a supermarket in Doha, Qatar in this June 5th photo after Saudi Arabia closed its land border with Qatar, through which the tiny Gulf nation imports most of its food. Saudi Arabia and three Arab countries have severed ties to Qatar and moved to cut off land, sea and air routes to the energy-rich nation that is home to a major U.S. military base and a campus of College of the North Atlantic, accusing it of supporting regional terror groups.

©Doha News via AP

Public-spirited businessman Moutaz al-Hayyat is flying 4,000 cows into Qatar from the United States and Australia to boost the milk supply in his country, which is being blockaded by most of its Arab neighbours in the Gulf. It will take 60 flights, and is definitely not cost-effective. But that may not be his biggest problem.

Ninety-nine percent of Qatar is open desert, and most of the very limited grazing areas for cattle are already fully occupied. Is al-Hayyat also going to airlift in the fodder for his 4,000 cows? There are many ridiculous aspects to the current crisis over Qatar — but it does have a serious side, too.

Compared to the real wars (Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya) currently raging in the Arab world, Qatar’s crisis is a bit like a tempest in a teapot. The country is tiny but rich, and nobody is getting killed there yet. Yet there is a blockade, and refugees, and troop movements, and it is not inconceivable that the gas-rich Gulf state might get invaded and its government overthrown.

On June 5, all of Qatar’s Arab neighbours in the Gulf withdrew their ambassadors from Doha, Qatar’s........

© The Telegram