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Qatar launches complaint at World Trade Organization against Saudi-led economic blockade Open in fullscreen

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Qatar launches complaint at World Trade Organization against Saudi-led economic blockade

Qatar has categorically denied the allegations of supporting extremists [Getty]

Date of publication: 31 July, 2017

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Qatar has filed a legal complaint to the World Trade Organization [WTO] against an economic blockade imposed by three of its neighbours.

Qatar has filed a legal complaint to the World Trade Organization [WTO] against an economic blockade imposed by three of its neighbours, Reuters has reported.

Qatar's WTO representative Ali Alwaleed Al Thani told the news agency on Monday that he had formally "requested consultations" with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Al Thani said he had triggered a 60-day deadline for them to settle the complaint or face legal action at the WTO and possible retaliatory economic sanctions.

He added that Qatar was also addressing the boycott at a meeting of the UN International Civil Aviation Organization on Monday.

On Saturday, Qatar filed a complaint to the UN over restrictions imposed on Qatari pilgrims planning to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca.

Saudi Arabia and its allies the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties and imposed sanctions on Doha in June, accusing it of backing extremist groups and of ties to Iran, in the region's worst diplomatic crisis in years.

Qatar has categorically denied the allegations.

The foreign ministers of four Arab states boycotting Qatar said on Sunday they would make no compromises in their demand that Doha change its policies.

The foreign ministers of the Saudi-led bloc who met in the Bahraini capital on Sunday, said they were open to talks with Qatar on condition it "stops its support and financing of terrorism".

A defiant Qatar has rejected the list of 13 demands from the coalition, which included shutting broadcaster Al Jazeera and the London-based The New Arab, downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran and closing a Turkish military base.

Qatar has stressed that lifting the blockade is a non-negotiable condition which the four countries besieging the emirate must adhere to before starting talks.

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