Qatar files WTO complaint over Gulf trade siege

Trevor Jackson
August 3, 2017

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt broke ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing the emirate of fostering Islamist extremist groups and of ties to Saudi arch-rival Iran.

They presented Qatar with a list of wide-ranging demands and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face unspecified consequences.

Qatar has strongly denied these charges, insisting it has been fighting terrorism relentlessly.

Moreover, it's not even clear whether Qatar actually even made such a demand in the first place.

They demanded that Qatar break its longstanding ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, blacklisted as a "terror group" by the four governments although not by the global community.

"The four countries confirm that all the measures that have been taken are part of sovereign duty and go in line with worldwide law", Bahrain Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa said.

Qatari officials, however, have denied accusations by al-Jubeir that its officials called for changes in the status of how the annual pilgrimage is administered by Riyadh.

Nearly 500 on trial over Turkey's failed coup
Ozturk, the former air force commander, is also on trial in a separate case, accused of being a ring-leader of the coup . He rejects the charges and denies any involvement in the coup attempt.

"Furthermore, the illegal siege is unprecedented in the framework of economic blocs", Qatar's economic and commerce minister Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassem bin Mohammed Al-Thani said in the statement.

The meeting also condemned the obstruction of Haj rituals and the politicizing of the pilgrimage by Qatar and the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir affirmed that Riyadh would spare no effort to facilitate the Haj for Qataris.

"They claim that the steps they took against Qatar are related to their sovereignty and national security; on the contrary these steps violate the worldwide declaration of human rights and global law and the freedom of movement.

We have not moved for the last 50 plus days, we haven't moved anywhere", Mahjoob Zweiri, professor at Qatar university, told Al Jazeera.

Sanctions continue to remain imposed on Qatar, as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) refrained from relaxing the sanctions it imposed over the gas-rich nation.

The list consists of Qatar's curbing of support for the Muslim Fraternity, shutting down a Turkish military base, closing the Doha-based Al Jazeera channel, and decreasing its associations with Gulf enemy Iran.

Qatar's foreign minister on Thursday accused Arab states of violating worldwide law in their boycott of the country and described the United Nations as the "right place" for Doha to seek options to overcome measures imposed against it.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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