Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 23 September 2019

UAE participates in WTO dispute proceedings with Qatar again

They will attend several days of meetings with states ‘interested in the matter'

The UAE previously asked the World Trade Organisation to look into a Qatari ban on Emirati goods and services. AFP
The UAE previously asked the World Trade Organisation to look into a Qatari ban on Emirati goods and services. AFP

The UAE is once more participating in dispute adjudication proceedings against Qatar through the World Trade Organisation’s settlement body, the state news agency Wam reported.

Obaid Al Tayer, the Minister of State for Financial Affairs, is leading a delegation to represent the country at meetings that will run from Wednesday to Friday and will also involve unidentified states “interested in the matter”.

“The UAE regrets that Qatar is asking the WTO to adjudicate as a trade issue what is actually a serious diplomatic dispute," a representative for the UAE mission in Geneva said.

"It was incumbent upon Qatar to abide by its commitments, including those made as part of the Riyadh Agreement and its supplementary covenants, instead of lodging cases before international organisations.”

Qatar made a series of agreements in Riyadh with its neighbours in 2013 and 2014, barring support for opposition and hostile groups in the Arabian Gulf region.

It was not clear what issue is being disputed or why it was being framed as a trade dispute.

But Wam reported that the UAE affirmed the action and measures in question were intended to protect national security as a result of Qatar’s support for terrorism, harbouring of extremists and interfering in the internal affairs of its neighbours.

These concerns prompted the UAE and other nations to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar in June 2017.

It was previously reported that the UAE had concluded WTO dispute proceedings after Doha backed down on a ban on Emirati products that had been imposed in breach of the global trade body’s rules.

The complaint arose after Qatar imposed discriminatory measures against goods and distributors from the UAE in May and June 2018.

All actions taken by the UAE comply with international law and WTO regulations, Wam said.

Updated: August 22, 2019 01:41 AM

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