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WTO forms panel to hear Qatar’s complaint against UAE

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has set up a panel to hear Qatar’s complaint against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over a Saudi-led trade boycott against the peninsular country.

The Geneva-based organization said in a statement on Wednesday that it’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) would “rule on Qatar’s complaint regarding various measures imposed by the United Arab Emirates restricting trade in goods and services with Qatar and the protection of Qatari intellectual property rights.”

Last month, Qatar made an initial request for a DSB to hear its case against Abu Dhabi, saying it was the victim of an “illegal siege” imposed by Saudi Arabia and its allies, namely the UAE Egypt and Bahrain. The UAE rejected that bid.

Qatar then made a second request, which, according to the WTO’s rules, triggered the automatic creation of a panel.

The UAE has already said that it plans to thwart the Qatari litigation in line with the national security exceptions provided for in the WTO agreements.

Qatar’s WTO representative Ali Alwaleed al-Thani said the UAE had used “provable fabrications, and rhetoric not befitting of this House.”

“UAE has asserted an absolute unilateral right to be absolved of all of its substantive and procedural WTO obligations vis-à-vis Qatar based purely on its bald assertion that its coercive attempts to isolate Qatar reflect a security concern,” he said.

Back in June, the Saudi-led quartet imposed a trade and diplomatic embargo on Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, an allegation strongly denied by the emirate.

The Saudi-led bloc presented Qatar with a list of demands, among them downgrading ties with Iran, and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face consequences. Doha, however, refused to meet the demands and said that they were meant to force the country to surrender its sovereignty.

Among the four Persian Gulf Arab states, the UAE has taken a harsher stance toward Qatar.

Earlier this month, the Intercept, a US-based investigative website, said it had found an anti-Qatar project in the task folder of an email account belonging to UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef al-Otaiba, exposing a stunning detailed plot by Abu Dhabi to wage an economic war on Doha.

The economic warfare involved an attack on Qatar’s currency “using bonds and derivatives manipulation.”

After Qatar was brought to its knees, the UAE would start a propaganda campaign to portray Doha as incapable of hosting World Cup 2022.

Source: Press TV

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