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Qatar tells stores to take Saudi products off their shelves

Qatar tells stores to take Saudi products off their shelves

Qatar has ordered retailers to stop selling products from Saudi Arabia and other countries that severed ties with it almost a year ago.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain launched a political and commercial boycott of Qatar last June, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Qatar quickly turned to other countries like Turkey to help replace the supplies of food and other key imports that had suddenly been cut off.

But third parties have still been bringing some products from the boycotting nations to Qatar “through illegal channels,” a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN on Sunday, declining to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The Qatari government said in a statement late Saturday that the directive to retailers to stop selling the products was intended to protect consumers and combat smuggling.

The products concerned include goods such as food, dairy and meat whose quality needs to be controlled, according to the source.

A ban on the sale of goods from the boycotting countries was enforced in Qatar in the early days of the crisis, but the government has seen an increase in smuggling, the source said.