LONDON: The UAE on Tuesday demanded Qatar unblock a website that allows Qatari citizens to apply for entry permits to travel to the Emirates.
The request was made at an International Court of Justice hearing to consider the UAE’s plea that Qatar withdraws a complaint it lodged with the UN’s Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Emirates’ state news agency WAM reported.
Qatar alleged that the UAE had discriminated against its citizens with travel and residency restrictions after the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries launched a boycott of Doha in 2017. The embargo broke trade, travel and diplomatic links over Qatar’s support of extremist groups.
At the hearing Tuesday, the UAE also called on Qatar to stop misusing its national authorities and media outlets to spread lies and disinformation about the UAE.
“Qatar is employing cheap tricks to put international forums in a fix,” Abdullah Al-Naqbi, Director of International Law at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said. “It should first stop its harmful policies against its just neighbors. It should stop funding and promoting terrorism and instead honor its commitment to the Riyadh Agreement.”
The Riyadh Agreement was a document signed by all members of the GCC in 2014 pledging not to interfere in each other's internal affairs or support extremist groups.
The UAE told the ICJ that while Qatar was lodging multiple complaints with international bodies accusing the Emirates of not allowing Qatari residents to travel to the UAE on “racial grounds,” a website for residency permit applications remained blocked inside Qatar.
The UAE requested the ICJ to direct the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination not to accept the Qatari complaint filed in March last year.