Qatar suspends WTO dispute with UAE as Gulf crisis thaws

  • 2 months   ago
Qatar suspends WTO dispute with UAE as Gulf crisis thaws

Qatar sent a notice to the World Trade Organisation to request the body suspends the country’s case against the United Arab Emirates. 

Qatar has suspended its case at the World Trade Organization against the United Arab Emirates over measures it said were designed to isolate Qatar economically.

The suspension, announced in a document filed at the WTO on Tuesday, follows moves by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to end a boycott in which they severed diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar in 2017.

Doha launched a complaint at the WTO in that year over the UAE’s closure of its maritime border to Qatar, prohibition on Qatari aircraft entering its airspace, suspension of handling mail and closure of Qatari service suppliers’ offices.

A three-person WTO panel had been set to decide on the case in the first quarter of this year.

The document issued on Tuesday said Qatar had requested the panel reviewing the dispute suspend its work in order to facilitate an “amicable final settlement”.

A trade official said that the panel had agreed to do so. The panel’s authority to decide on the case will formally lapse if its work is suspended for more than 12 months.


Some progress in communication with UAE: Foreign Minister

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in an interview with Bloomberg said that some progress is there is communication with UAE.

“Today we have seen some progress between us and the UAE. There is some communication, and we look forward to continue the discussion and we are ready to address any issues that they have with Qatar or Qatar have with UAE. We have resumed the flights already,” he said in the interview. 

The Deputy Prime Minister said that he and his Emirati counterparts were in direct communication and working to address outstanding issues. "Here in Qatar, we are forward looking,” he said. "We don’t need to be a hostage of the past.”

“Qatar foreign policy has been based on principles and these principles has never changed. We are going to support whatever the people will and whatever the people are going to seek for their countries. If they are going to seek for justice using peaceful ways to express what they think is right, Qatar will continue supporting the people,” he added.

Regarding a summit between leaders of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council and Iran, he said that he was "hopeful that this would happen and we still believe this should happen.” 

"This is also a desire that’s shared by other GCC countries,” he told Bloomberg TV.

"Qatar will facilitate negotiations if asked by stake holders and will support whoever is chosen to do so,” he said. "We want the accomplishment, we want to see the deal happening,” he said of potential talks between the US and Iran. "Wherever it is, whoever it is conducting this negotiation, we will support them.”