BEIRUT, Lebanon — The tiny, wealthy Persian Gulf state of Qatar will withdraw from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in January, the country’s energy minister said on Monday.
The minister, Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, said the move would allow Qatar to focus on its gas industry and dismissed the idea that the withdrawal was connected to politics.
Qatar is one of the smallest producers in OPEC but the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, which has given the country’s citizens the world’s highest per capita income.
In June 2017, Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states imposed a boycott on Qatar, accusing it of funding terrorism and interfering in the internal affairs of other Arab states.
No other countries have since joined the boycott and the United States, which has a large military base in Qatar, has sought to end the feud.
In his remarks to reporters on Monday, Mr. Kaabi said Qatar’s decision to withdraw had been communicated to OPEC, which had counted Qatar as a member for nearly six decades. Qatar still intended to attend an OPEC meeting in Vienna this week, he said.
Orignially published in NYT.