Qatar to go to international arbitration to stop blockade

Published:  12 Jan at 6 PM
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The Gulf State of Qatar is to seek international arbitration as a means to end the blockade.

Spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry Lulwar al Khatar told reporters Wednesday the emirate is seeking international arbitration in order to its diplomatic blockade by Egypt and three of its neighbours in the Gulf. Qatar’s move came after an investigation by the United Nations reported the blockade was negatively impacting Qataris in the region.

Speaking at a prèss conference in Doha, Al Khatar said the government had begun international moves aimed at arbitration or international court hearings with the aim of ending the blockade. We have, he added, all options available to stop the situation from continuing any longer. The UN’s report was published following a meeting between representatives of the UN Human Rights Office and 20 civil society and governmental groups. Qataris affected by the blockade were also part of the meeting.

According to Al Khatar, the UN’s view of the situation was neutral and international in its points of view and contained important issues that need to be resolved. Material and moral damage, he added, has been caused to Qataris by the continuation of the blockade. Last week, head of the Qatar Human Rights Committee Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri said the UN study constituted proof of the illegality of the blockade, adding the measures taken were abusive, arbitrary and unilateral and are impacting both expats and Qatari citizens.

The blockade was imposed last summer by Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, at first cutting off diplomatic ties but soon moving to block trade and the delivery by sea or air of imports. Since then Qatar, with a little help from a number of international friendly countries including Turkey, has managed to stay relatively stable.
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