Foreign Ministry Spokesperson : Qatar Does Not Intend to Escalate the Crisis with the UAE

HE Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lolwah Al Khater said the State of Qatar does not intend to escalate the crisis with United Arab Emirates, however it is only important for the State to resort to legal means and lift the harm inflicted on 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). The court is expected to issue a preliminary decision on the complaint on Monday.

Her Excellency 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, HE 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, Her Excellency said.

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

Her Excellency explained the litigation stages of the court saying the first is the provisional measures stage followed by judgment or jurisdiction of court and finally the judgement. Potentially, there maybe a fourth stage where the court assesses the damage if any apply. The court will issue its verdict on the first stage on Monday, which is an important one known as the provisional measures phase, Her Excellency added.

HE 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, HE Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lolwah Al Khater 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 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, HE 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, the State of 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, the State of 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 the State of 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: Ministry of Foreign Affairs