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Force Majeure: Preserving Contractor Rights During Qatar Diplomatic Crisis; What You Need to Know

On 5 and 6 June 2017, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Saudi), Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and the Maldives all separately announced that they were severing diplomatic relations with Qatar. In the days that followed, Mauritius, Libya and Mauritania all followed suit. The measures taken by the UAE and Saudi are particularly restrictive with the closure of all land, air and sea routes to or from Qatar, including prohibiting Qatar Airlines from flying in UAE or Saudi airspace. While the legality of the actions taken by UAE and Saudi is far from certain1, for the time being, Qatar appears to intend to comply with the prohibition. As a result, the sudden and comprehensive ban on major transportation routes to and from Qatar will significant effect the ability of contractors in Qatar to perform their obligations under existing contracts. This article examines o
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