Seven countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain, severed diplomatic ties with with the energy-rich monarchy on Monday, accusing it of backing Tehran and Islamist groups such as the non-violent Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar has said it does not support terrorism, adding that the diplomatic rift was based on "baseless fabricated claims."
Doha now faces an acute economic plight as it relies on Gulf neighbors for 80 percent of food imports, according to Reuters.
To mitigate its economic isolation, Qatar will look for other friends, explained Amin Saikal, director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University. "It can accelerate its relationship with Turkey and Iran, who have already said they are happy to help to compensate for the boycott."
Ankara was ready to help resolve the dispute, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, while Iranian officials have offered to send food to Qatar by sea.
"Doha would have to clearly shift its foreign policy position and alliances ... Pressure by the Arab alliance could convince the (Qatari) leadership to seek closer relations with Iran and Turkey," Eurasia analysts echoed in a Monday note.
"As a result, Qatar could leave the Gulf Cooperation Council altogether."
The majority of Arab governments have long viewed Iran as an adversary and in 2016, Doha recalled its ambassador to the Persian nation amid a major rift between Riyadh and Tehran. But recent months have seen Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani go against Riyadh's wishes by warming up to Tehran — in a conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week, Al-Thani said he wanted bilateral liaisons to be stronger than ever.