Qatar’s finance minister expressed confidence in the country’s ability to economically weather a diplomatic dispute with a group of countries that cut relations last week.
In an interview broadcast Monday by CNBC, Ali Sherif al-Emadi said there are some challenges, but that Qatar is “business as usual.”
“I don’t think there is anything that we need to worry about in the local economy,” he said.
He added that the countries that announced suspending ties, which included Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, faced their own risk of financial hardship from damage to business in the region.
“A lot of people think we’re the only ones to lose in this,” he said. “If we’re going to lose a dollar, they will lose a dollar also.”
The nations that severed relations accused Qatar of supporting Islamist militants and Iran. Qatar has called those charges baseless.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said Monday the two sides should resolve their differences through negotiations. Kuwait has been involved in trying to mediate the dispute.
In addition to cutting diplomatic ties, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt also halted air, sea and land transport links to Qatar, which relies on imports for most of its food.
Qatar said Monday it launched new cargo shipping routes through ports in Oman.
Iran and Turkey have also already shipped food to Qatar.