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Qatar opens channels with Oman ports

DOHA: Qatar has launched direct shipping services to ports in Oman, a move that bypasses a Gulf “blockade” on a country largely dependent on food imports.

Qatar’s port authority yesterday announced the launch of two new services from Hamad Port to Oman’s Sohar and Salalah ports, circumventing the need for cargo to stop in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates.

The UAE had for decades served as a central stopping point in cargo shipments.

Qatar’s Hamad Port is 420 nautical miles from Sohar Port and 1,131 nautical miles from Salalah.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain are among several countries which last week suspended all ties to Qatar over what they say is the state’s support for extremist groups and its political proximity to Syiah Iran.

Qatar denies the allegations.

The emirate is the world’s largest producer and exporter of liquified natural gas, but it also relies heavily on imports for food staples and raw materials. — AFP

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