Qatar seeks compensation for businesses hit by Saudi-led blockade

Qatar seeks compensation for businesses hit by Saudi 'economic warfare'
2 min read
10 January, 2018
Qatar's foreign ministry spokesperson Lulwa al-Khater accused the Saudi-led blockade on Doha of being a form of "economic warfare".
Qatar has accused Saudi Arabia and allies of waging 'economic warfare' [AFP]
Qatar on Wednesday said a Saudi-led boycott, now in its eighth month, amounted to "economic warfare" as Doha plans to seek compensation for those hit by the sanctions. 

Qatar's foreign ministry spokesperson Lulwa al-Khater said at a press briefing the energy-rich emirate would "not leave a stone unturned" in legally pursuing claims for businesses.

"This is economic warfare," she added.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and economic ties with gas-rich Qatar, accusing it of links to extremist groups.

Qatar has denied the allegations and repeatedly called for dialogue to end the crisis.

Earlier this week, the UN's human rights office accused the four countries of orchestrating a hate campaign against Qatar, which included threats to kill the country's emir.

In a devastating report, the Office for the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) set out how a quartet of Gulf countries began the attacks after launching their diplomatic and transport blockade of the tiny Gulf state last summer.

Between June and October 2017 there were 1,120 press articles and 600 anti-Qatar caricatures published in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, it said.

The OHCHR report said: "Such material included… calls for a regime change or a coup d'etat, attacks against leading figures and symbols of Qatar, as well as attacks on and murder of Qataris.

"For instance, a Saudi tweeter with five million followers has been issuing 'religious opinions' calling for the killing of the emir of Qatar. Another Saudi tweeter warned he could send one million Yemeni suicide bombers to Qatar."

The Saudi-led bloc demanded Qatar shutter the flagship Al Jazeera news network and London-based The New Arab, sealed its land border and barred Qatari flights from using Saudi airspace.

Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has called for a negotiated settlement to the damaging dispute, but insisted any solution should not come at the expense of "Doha's sovereignty and dignity".

The four nations have demanded that Doha accepts a list of 13 conditions to open a dialogue.

Mediation efforts to resolve the rift, mainly led by the emir of fellow Gulf state Kuwait, have so far failed to break the deadlock.