Qatar seeks compensation for Saudi-led blockade, sanctions
KONFRONTASI - A high-ranking Qatari official has described the ongoing Saudi-led diplomatic and trade boycott against his energy-rich Persian Gulf country as “economic warfare,” stressing that Doha plans to seek compensation for those hit by the sanctions.
“This is economic warfare,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Lulwah al-Khater said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Khater said Qatar would “not leave a stone unturned” in legally pursuing claims for businesses.
“We have already begun moving internationally to seek arbitration or [go to] international courts or UN institutions” to end the blockade, she said.
“All options are available for us,” Khater pointed out.
She went on to say that Qatari officials will contact the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Doha in the legal process against the Saudi-led blockade.
Khater expressed hope that Saudi Arabia and its allies would engage in dialogue with the Doha government to help resolve the lingering conflict.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt all cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5 last year, after officially accusing it of “sponsoring terrorism.”
The administration of Saudi-backed and resigned Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Libya, the Maldives, Djibouti, Senegal and the Comoros later joined the camp in ending diplomatic ties. Jordan downgraded its diplomatic relations as well.
A general view taken on July 2, 2017 shows the corniche of the Qatari capital Doha. (Photo by AFP)
Qatar's Foreign Ministry later announced that the decisions to cut diplomatic ties were unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions.
On June 9, Qatar strongly dismissed allegations of supporting terrorism after the Saudi regime and its allies blacklisted dozens of individuals and entities purportedly associated with Doha.
On June 23, Saudi Arabia and its allies released a 13-point list of demands, including the closure of Al Jazeera television network and downgrade of relations with Iran, in return for the normalization of diplomatic relations with Doha.
The document containing the demands by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain also asked Qatar to sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement.[ptv]