The members of the anti-terrorism quartet, namely Egypt; the United Arab Emirates; Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain, cut off their diplomatic and trade ties with the state of Qatar in June 2017.
The four states also took a series of other measures, including preventing Qatari planes from using their airspace, in protest against Doha’s sponsorship of terrorist organizations and interference in their internal affairs.
Nevertheless, Qatar has been trying to downplay the effect of the move on its economy since then.
Unending sponsorship of terrorism
On June 7, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that Gulf states would take firm action against the financing of terrorism.
He added that all indications referred to Qatar and considered the measures taken by Gulf states against Doha to be the beginning of the end for extremism.
This tweet amounted to what some people considered an international confession of Qatar’s links to terrorist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
However, Qatar has been trying to conceal the effects the boycott of the four countries has had on its economy.
It claims that the indicators of its economy have been improving steadily. Despite this, Qatari institutions are out to complain against deteriorating conditions inside Qatar. Some of these institutions have described the situation inside the minor Gulf state as “tragic.”
There are indications that economic conditions are deteriorating inside Qatar. This is manifest in official reports by Qatari institutions.
According to the Qatari Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics, the output of Qatari factories witnessed repeated declines throughout 2019.
In a report it released in February, the ministry said the production of the factories dropped by 2.5 in November 2019, compared with the previous month.
The ministry added that the output of the mining sector dropped by 2% in the same month. It added that the production of the manufacturing sector also witnessed repeated drops, going down by 3.8% at the beginning of 2019.