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'Qatar rich enough to face threats of blockade'

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image [Qatar] Finance Minister Ali Shareef al-Emadi

HE the Finance Minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi has said the economic fundamentals of Qatar are in a better position than its rivals' and that the country is rich enough to face threats of the blockade, Al Jazeera reports.

Speaking to The Times newspaper, he said the State's huge financial reserves, built on the sale of natural gas over decades, meant it could withstand sanctions.

"We have sovereign wealth funds of 250% of gross domestic product, we have Qatar Central Bank reserves, and we have a ministry of finance strategic reserve," he told the paper.

Further, HE al-Emadi said the country is rich enough to sustain despite sanctions. A Saudi Arabia-led bloc has imposed a blockade on Qatar since June 5. 

He compared his country with the status of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. "Bahrain and Egypt are at junk bond level," he said.

"If you look at Saudi Arabia, they are having genuine issues with their finances. We are the fastest-growing country in the region, 40% faster than the nearest Gulf Co-operation Council country [the UAE]."

On Monday, Qatar delivered its response to a list of 13 demands from Saudi Arabia and the three other Arab countries that cut ties with it and imposed a land, air and sea embargo amid a major diplomatic crisis.

HE the Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has said the country will do "whatever it takes to protect our people".


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