07 July, 2017
"The response the four states got was overall negative and lacked any content".
"While additional punitive measures are likely if Qatar maintains its current policy, the anti-Doha coalition appears sensitive to the narrative of the dispute and the need to appear flexible and patient", said Ayham Kamel, director of the Middle East & North Africa at Eurasia Group in London.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said at the news conference in the Egyptian capital that "the boycott [against Qatar] will remain".
"The new additional volumes will be secured by doubling the size of the new gas project in the southern sector of the North Field, which Qatar Petroleum had announced last April", a statement by the company said.
Saudi Arabia and its allies have not said what steps they could take next, but there are fears of a wider embargo that would hurt the Qatari economy.
Some of the rhetoric by the four ministers, however, was clearly belligerent.
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Meanwhile, the diplomatic brouhaha has dragged regional powers into the fray with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan underlining his country's support for Qatar, and his anger at the demand for the closure of the Turkish military base in Doha. They are also demanding that Doha shut down Al Jazeera, the news network funded by the Qatari state.
The four-nation bloc has to tread a fine line between pressuring Qatar without alienating an worldwide community with no appetite for further conflict in the region, said Graham Griffiths, an analyst at global risk consultancy Control Risks in Dubai.
Qatar has denied such allegations, and has been part of the US-led worldwide coalition against ISIS as well as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia supporting Yemen's internationally recognized government and fighting the Houthi rebels backed by Iran. That second deadline expired early Wednesday morning.
However, the quartet held back from an immediate escalation of the dispute by declining to impose extra sanctions or expel Qatar from the GCC.
Asked about the possibility of discontinuing Qatar's membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Sheikh Khalid said: "This is for the GCC to discuss".
"To defeat terrorism, we must confront extremism, we must confront hate speech, we must confront the harboring and sheltering of extremists and terrorists, and funding them", he said.
Qatar is already the world's leading exporter of liquified natural gas, accounting for about 30% of global demand.
However, the negative outlook implies that this score - which defines Qatar's credit as high quality with a very low credit risk - could soon be on the decline.