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Qatar will suffer 'large cost' from economic measures, Saudi foreign minister says

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Tuesday the damage caused by economic measures taken by some Arab states against Qatar should convince it change its policies, including regarding extremist groups.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Maldives have cut ties with Qatar

Traders monitor screens displaying stock information at the Qatar Stock Exchange in Doha, Qatar on Monday (Stringer/Reuters)

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Tuesday the damage caused by economic measures taken by some Arab states against Qatar should convince it change its policies, including regarding extremist groups.

"We believe that common sense and logic and will convince Qatar to take the right steps," Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in Paris.

"The decisions that were made were very strong and will have a fairly large cost on Qatar and we do not believe that Qataris want to sustain those costs."

​On Monday, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, the internationally backed government of Yemen, and the Maldives cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, citing its "embrace of various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilizing the region," including the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and ISIS.

The countries moved to cut air, land and sea traffic to Qatar, which could cause economic turmoil.

All flights by Qatar Airways to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain are suspended. Saudi Arabia has also revoked the airline's operating licenses and shut down its offices in the kingdom.

(Google Maps/CBC)

Meanwhile, shipping vessels flying the flag of Qatar are blocked from docking, the Saudi ports authority said. Qatar has also been prohibited from loading its oil onto tankers with crude from other Persian Gulf suppliers.

Shipping bans could also affect Qatar's ability to move its liquefied natural gas. Qatar is the top supplier of LNG in the world, sending its product to many Asian markets.

In Qatar, residents emptied grocery store shelves as Saudi Arabia closed land access to the country, stranding trucks loaded with supplies at the border. The country of about 270,000 people imports about 40 per cent of its food through its land link to Saudi Arabia. 

Worries abound of import shortages due to diplomatic row 0:59

Amid the unrest, the Philippines said it will stop sending workers to Qatar until the diplomatic tussle is settled.

There are currently roughly 140,000 Filipino workers in Qatar, with the government of the Philippines expressed concern for their situation.

"We know for a fact Qatar does not produce it own food. If anything happens and they ran out of food and food riots take place definitely our [foreign workers] will be the first victims," said Silvestre Bello, head of the Philippine Department of Labour and Employment, in a statement, CNN reported.

Passengers of cancelled flights wait in Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha on Tuesday. (Hadi Mizban/Associated Press)

with files from CBC News