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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Qatar suspends WTO dispute against UAE

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The case was suspended to find an “amicable settlement”

Qatar sent a notice to the World Trade Organisation to request the body suspends the country’s case against the United Arab Emirates. 

The case, launched in 2017, was a trade dispute with the UAE over measures relating to “trade in goods and services, and trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights.”

This included the closure of the UAE’s maritime border with Qatar, a ban on on Qatari aircraft entering its airspace, suspension of handling mail and the closure of Qatari service suppliers’ offices, Reuters reported.

The document, issued on January 18, asked the panel to “suspend its work….until further notice” to facilitate an amicable settlement. 

The notice added that the case will come to an end if the panel’s work is suspended for 12 months. 

Doha launched the case, and several others, in various international bodies against the blockading quartet – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt – after the countries cut all diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar. 

Read also: Qatar, Saudi hint at potential future investment opportunities

The suspension of the case comes weeks after the Gulf Cooperation Council signed the Al-Ula declaration at the annual summit and announced ties between all nations involved in the dispute would soon be restored.

Qatar’s foreign minister also previously said Doha would agree to suspend legal cases against Saudi Arabia and its allies, including lawsuits filed at the World Trade Organisation and the International Court of Justice

“When it comes to the appropriate schedule, these legal cases should then be terminated,” he added.

Earlier this week, Abu Dhabi’s flag carrier airline Etihad Airways said in a statement that it is looking forward to resuming flights to the neighbouring Gulf state soon.

“Etihad Airways welcomes ties between the UAE and Qatar being restored. As airspace reopens, Etihad looks forward to recommencing services between Abu Dhabi and Doha and once again, supporting growth of trade and tourism between the two nations. Etihad will announce any developments when confirmed,” an Etihad Airways spokesperson said.

Flights resumption opens the door for restoring diplomatic, political and trade ties between the neighbouring states.


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