Qatar files legal complaint against boycott

Qatar files complaint with World Trade Organization against trade boycott by four Arab countries.

Ben Ariel ,

Flag of Qatar
Flag of Qatar

Qatar on Monday filed a wide-ranging legal complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the trade boycott by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates, Qatar's WTO representative Ali Alwaleed al-Thani told Reuters.

The three states, along with Egypt, severed relations with Qatar in June over allegations that it supports terrorism. Qatar denies the charges.

They later placed dozens of figures linked to the country on blacklists, including Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the spiritual leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

By formally "requesting consultations" with the three countries, the first step in a trade dispute, Qatar triggered a 60 day deadline for them to settle the complaint or face litigation at the WTO and potential retaliatory trade sanctions, noted Reuters.

Qatar is also raising the boycott at a meeting of the UN International Civil Aviation Organization on Monday, al-Thani told the news agency.

The four boycotting countries delivered 13 demands to ending the crisis, including shutting the Al-Jazeera network, downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran and closing a Turkish military base.

After Qatar refused to adhere to the demands, the four boycotting countries rescinded them.

On Sunday, Bahrain's foreign minister said the boycotting countries would be ready to hold dialogue to ease the dispute if Doha agrees to certain demands.