The ongoing political and economic isolation of Qatar has only made the country and its people stronger, the president and CEO of Qatar Petroleum has said.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Saad Sherida Al Kaabi said the Gulf crisis has not affected Qatar’s LNG exports.
Listing 18 countries that rely on Doha’s reserves, including Japan, China, Germany and the UK, he added, “There is not a buyer of LNG that does not call on Qatar to supply it.”
Al Kaabi even expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE for taking action against his country.
“I would like to thank the four countries for their blockade, because it has made Qatar stronger, the people of Qatar stronger, their businesses stronger. We will come out of this much stronger than before,” he said.
Despite Al Kaabi’s remarks, Qatari officials have previously conceded that the boycott has raised expenses for the government.
For example, earlier this month Qatar’s foreign minister said it costs 10 times as much money to import food and medicine since the blockade started.
The government is footing most of that bill to keep prices down for residents, he added at the time.
This is not great news for Qatar, which before the crisis had been slashing budgets amid lower global oil prices.
But officials have stressed that they have the resources to handle the challenge.
And some analysts have previously forecast that the country could ride out an economic embargo from its neighbors for months or even years.
Financial toll aside, the blockade has helped bolster Qatar’s image abroad, in that many nations have not sided with the quartet on their action.
Also yesterday, Al Kaabi affirmed that Qatar has no plans to cut off gas to the UAE, which depends heavily on Qatar’s gas to power its nation.
Legally, QP has that option, but “if you stop the gas, the biggest harm is to the people of the UAE. The people of the UAE are cousins, relatives, and friends … and we have nothing against them,” the CEO said.
Still, that doesn’t mean Qatar will forgive and forget everything that has transpired over the past seven weeks.
“The trust that we have built over the years has been broken overnight,” Al Kaabi told Al Jazeera.