UAE Says Economic Sanctions Against Qatar do not Violate WTO Agreements

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The Economic sanctions imposed on Qatar by three  Gulf states to not violate the  World Trade Organisation agreements, the United Arab Emirates official said, after Doha launched a wide ranging legal complaint at the Geneva based body.

The Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar which is a major global gas supplier and has the biggest US military base in the Middle East. On June 5, accusing arch foe Iran and  backing of the militant groups and allegations the Doha denies.

On Monday ,The Qatar made the formal protest at the WTO by requesting consultations with the three countries by triggering a deadline of 60 day for them to settle the complaint or face the litigation at the WTO and potential retaliatory trade sanctions.

On Tuesday, The UAE state news agency “WAM” quoted Juma Mohammed al-Kait who is an assistant under secretary in the Economy Ministry, “The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain imposed the  sanctions and  did not contradict the agreements of the WTO.”

The first response to towards the Qatari move, he said the boycott which included the severing of diplomatic and travel ties was in line with the articles 21 and article 14 of the General Agreement on Trade in Services that  allows such moves in the case of security exceptions.

Previously, The boycotting countries have  told the WTO that they would told national security to justify their actions against Qatar by using an unprecedented exemption  that was allowed under the WTO rules.

The  member states of WTO is not prevented by the agreement from using  the economic sanctions to protect the basic security interests that carry out the commitments  to maintain security and peace in the United Nations.

The WTO, suit does not include the fourth country “Egypt” in the boycott. The Western backed efforts by Gulf state Kuwait to mediate have yielded little progress.

The trade restrictions include Gulf bans  through Qatar ports and travel by Qatari citizens to the three Gulf countries. The blockage of Qatari digital services and the  closure of sea borders and the airspace to Qatari aircraft.

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