Qatar terror links exposed at world court

Qatar launched on Wednesday an urgent case before the UN's highest court against United Arab Emirates. (AFP)
Updated 29 June 2018

Qatar terror links exposed at world court

  • Abu Dhabi’s representatives said it cut relations with Qatar “because of its support for terrorism and its interference with the affairs of its neighbors”
  • UAE representatives said Qatar has put forward no credible evidence to substantiate any of Doha's claims against the UAE

THE HAGUE:  Qatar supports terrorism, spreads hate speech and interferes in the affairs of its neighbors, judges at the International Court of Justice in The Hague heard on Thursday.

“Our government has asked Qatar time and again to cease this conduct,” the UAE’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Saeed Al-Nowais, told the court. “Although Qatar repeatedly committed to do so, it has failed to live up to its commitments.”

The UAE is defending a lawsuit brought by Doha over the boycott imposed last June by the Anti-Terror Quartet (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt), severing diplomatic ties and transport links. Qatar claims the UAE has forcibly separated families, in violation of an international treaty signed by both countries.

Al-Nowais said his country “completely rejects the allegations, all of which are without any merit or basis.”

“Qatar has put forward no credible evidence to substantiate any of these claims,” he said, and they consisted “only of anecdotal and unverified statements.”

“The UAE’s measures against the Qatari government are carefully measured to have the least possible impact on ordinary people,” Al-Nowais said.

Relations with Qatar were cut “because of its support for terrorism, its interference with the affairs of its neighbors and its dissemination of hate speech.”

The court is expected to take several months to deliver a judgment.

“This is a conflict based on disagreements over policy, not national origin,” Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a former terror-finance analyst at the US Department of Treasury, told Arab News. 

“It is ridiculous to see Doha claiming that it is suffering significantly while at the same time it is boasting that its standard of living has not changed after a year of the boycott.”

Fahad Nazer, a Saudi political analyst and an International Fellow at the National Council on US-Arab Relations, said Qatar should address its neighbors’ legitimate grievances rather than seek to “internationalize” the dispute.

“The Anti-Terror Quartet has made a compelling case that Qatar’s actions and policies have violated some of the most fundamental laws, conventions and norms of international relations,” he said.


Iraqi protesters block commercial ports, split capital

Updated 19 November 2019

Iraqi protesters block commercial ports, split capital

  • Iraqi civilians are increasingly relying on boats to ferry them across the Tigris River as ongoing standoffs shut key bridges in Baghdad
  • The Jumhuriya, Sinak and Ahrar bridges connect both sides of the city by passing over the river

BAGHDAD: Anti-government protesters blocked access to a second major commercial port in southern Iraq on Tuesday, as bridge closures effectively split the capital in half, causing citizens to rely on boats for transport to reach the other side of the city.
Since anti-government protests began Oct. 1, at least 320 people have been killed and thousands wounded in Baghdad and the mostly Shiite southern provinces. Demonstrators have taken to the streets in the tens of thousands over what they say is widespread corruption, lack of job opportunities and poor basic services, despite the country’s oil wealth.
Security forces have used live ammunition, tear gas and stun guns to repel protesters, tactics that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday would be punished with sanctions.
“We will not stand idle while the corrupt officials make the Iraqi people suffer. Today, I am affirming the United States will use our legal authorities to sanction corrupt individuals that are stealing Iraqis’ wealth and those killing and wounding peaceful protesters,” he said in remarks to reporters in Washington.
“Like the Iraqi people taking to the streets today, our sanctions will not discriminate between religious sect or ethnicity,” he added. “They will simply target those who do wrong to the Iraqi people, no matter who they are.”
Over a dozen protesters blocked the main entrance to Khor Al-Zubair port, halting trade activity as oil tankers and other trucks carrying goods were unable to enter or exit. The port imports commercial goods and materials as well as refined oil products.
Crude from Qayara oil field in Ninewa province, in northern Iraq, is also exported from the port.
Khor Al-Zubair is the second largest port in the country. Protesters had burned tires and cut access to the main Gulf commercial port in Umm Qasr on Monday and continued to block roads Tuesday.
Iraqi civilians are increasingly relying on boats to ferry them across the Tigris River as ongoing standoffs between demonstrators and Iraqi security forces on three key bridges has shut main thoroughfares connecting east and west Baghdad.
The Jumhuriya, Sinak and Ahrar bridges, which have been partially occupied by protesters following days of deadly clashes, connect both sides of the city by passing over the Tigris River. The blockages have left Iraqis who must make the daily commute for work, school and other day-to-day activities with no choice but to rely on river boats.
“After the bridges were cut, all the pressure is on us here,” said Hasan Lilo, a boat owner in the capital. “We offer a reasonable transportation means that helps the people.”