Qatar does not intend to escalate crisis with UAE: Lulwah Al Khater

DOHA: Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lulwah Al Khater said the State of Qatar does not intend to escalate the crisis with United Arab Emirates however it is also important for the State to resort to legal means and lift the harm inflicted on its citizens affected by the procedures taken by the UAE against them.

These remarks were made in an interview with Turkey’s Anadolu Agency in Doha, where she touched on the complaint submitted by the State of Qatar against the UAE in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Later yesterday the court issued its verdict. She added that the UAE has not engaged with Qatar in any diplomatic negotiations regarding this complaint.

“Doha has worked towards finding diplomatic solutions, however, they have not been fruitful, therefore it has decided to move in a parallel legal direction but remains open to the diplomatic route,” Al Khater said.

“The ICJ comprises15 judges and is part of the UN Security Council. The court’s mission reviews the disputes between states or maybe approached by UN entities for an advisory opinion,” she said.

Al Khater said Qatar filed a complaint on June 11, 2018 against UAE for discriminatory treatment on Qatari citizens, where the discriminatory treatment has reached their own citizens in the case that they sympathise with Qatar, making it part of the litigation process.

Al Khater said Qatar filed the complaint under two frameworks, the first is under the request of temporary measures to lift the harm on those affected even if only temporarily, in addition to putting on hold the ban on allowing Qatari citizens to enter the UAE. “The second framework is a lengthy litigation course which may take several years which means regardless of the court’s temporary decision and judgment on the matter, it will not affect the long-term litigation and final judgment.”

Responding to a question on whether the ICJ order is binding to the countries or not, she said the decision is binding because UAE is signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

She pointed that there has always been a question on why is the litigation against UAE and not any of the other siege countries, stressing that the reason is purely legal and technical; and that is because Article 22 of CERD allows litigation or recourse to the ICJ and that Qatar and the UAE are signatories to this agreement.

She went on saying that unlike UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have made reservations on Article 22.

Regarding the measures taken by the UAE in dealing with the complaint, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said this “complaint we have filed against the UAE is now before the court and the UAE has a legal team working on it. There were pleadings and responses (in previous sessions), and you may have seen on some TV stations.”

“These procedures are already in place on legal bases, but unfortunately there is media propaganda against Qatar, that has neither legal nor technical bases” she said.

On June 11, Qatar filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice, accusing the UAE of committing discriminatory measures against Qatari citizens, resulting in human rights violations that still exist.”

In its complaint, Qatar said that the UAE has deprived Qatari companies and individuals from their properties and bank deposits in the UAE and also denied them the right to basic education, medical treatment and litigation in UAE courts.

Following the outbreak of the Gulf crisis in June 2017, the UAE collectively expelled Qataris and banned them from entering or passing through its territory.

Based on that Qatar demands, through the ICJ, the UAE to returns rights to Qataris and compensate them for the damages.

The Qatari case is based on the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which is one of the first international conventions on human rights.

Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE are parties to the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

Qatar and the UAE have agreed to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice under article 22 of CERD, while Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt have made reservations on that article.

Source: The Peninsula Newspaper