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AP Interview: Qatar Airways CEO warns of ‘lasting wound’

In this Friday, June 16, 2017 photo, Qatar Airways planes are seen parked at the Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar. The deadline for Qataris to leave neighboring Gulf Arab states has come into effect as the diplomatic standoff persists despite multiple mediation efforts. (AP Photo/Malak Harb)

PARIS (AP) — The CEO of Qatar Airways says the blockade imposed on his country by Gulf neighbors “will leave a lasting wound.”

Speaking Monday at the Paris Air Show, Akbar Al Baker told The Associated Press: “People will not forget.”

Al Baker said he expects U.S. President Donald Trump will intervene “to make sure that this blockade is lifted soonest…especially since he knows that we are part of his alliance against terrorism.”

He called the blockade illegal and said customers are returning to Qatar Airways and again using Qatar as an aviation hub after an initial hit to business.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar this month and blocked air, sea and land traffic with Qatar over its support for Islamist groups and ties with Iran.

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