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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

UAE dismisses claim it passed laws over expulsion of Qataris 

All Qataris residing in the UAE are encouraged to obtain permission for re-entry into UAE territory

The next GCC summit is in Riyadh on December 9. AFP
The next GCC summit is in Riyadh on December 9. AFP

The UAE has refuted Doha's claims that it has passed laws or orders relating to the expulsion of Qataris from the Emirates.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation reiterated that its ongoing requirement is that Qatari citizens resident in the UAE should obtain prior permission for re-entry into UAE territory.

In a statement published by the emirates’ news agency, Wam, the ministry rebutted recent allegations by Qatar. It said that the UAE has not passed any laws or orders pertaining to the expulsion of Qataris from the emirates, and it has not taken any action towards expelling Qataris who remain in the country following a 14-day deadline.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha on June 5 last year over its support of extremist groups and interference in other countries’ affairs. The measures included that Qataris residing in the three GCC countries leave within 14 days.

Qatari nationals studying in the GCC countries or married to Saudi or Emirati citizens were excluded from the measure.

"Since its announcement on June 5th, 2017, pursuant to which the United Arab Emirates took certain measures against Qatar for national security reasons, the UAE has instituted a requirement for all Qatari citizens overseas to obtain prior permission for entry into the UAE,” said a statement by the ministry.

“However, all Qatari citizens resident in the UAE are encouraged to obtain prior permission for re-entry into UAE territory.

“All applications for entry clearance may be made through the telephone hotline announced on June 11th, 2017 (+9718002626).”

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The statement comes after Doha claimed at the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague last month that Qataris residing in the UAE “live in the shadow of the UAE’s expulsion order”.

“As a result of the false accusations made by the State of Qatar against the UAE, the UAE deems it necessary to affirm its long-standing policy on the entry and residence conditions applicable to persons of Qatari citizenship,” said the ministry's statement.

“The UAE regrets that Qatar continues to misrepresent the UAE’s policy on the entry and residence conditions applicable to Qatari citizens. The UAE affirms its full respect and appreciation for the people of Qatar.

“The UAE will continue to maintain all measures instituted against the Qatari government to address the threat it poses to regional security and the people of the UAE.”

The UAE has said that the ICJ has no authority to hear Qatar’s case.

“Qatar has failed to provide any evidence of mass expulsions or deportations or any specific actions to interfere in the enjoyment by Qataris of their civil, property or business rights," said Saeed Alnowais, the UAE's ambassador to the Netherlands.

Qatar filed its claim before the ICJ "to distract attention away from its own unlawful conduct and for the purpose of mounting a public relations campaign against these states that have been most critical of its policies," he said.

The UAE reiterated its calls on Qatar to abide by international commitments and stop supporting extremists.

The four Arab countries stand firm by their decision to boycott Qatar, saying they are willing to re-establish communications with Doha if it adheres to regional and international agreements and the demands and principles they have issued.

Doha has so far refused to meet the quartet’s 13 demands – including the closure of Qatar-owned Al Jazeera news channel, which the quartet says provides a platform for extremists and dissidents.