*Suffering borne by Emirati exporters was because of the UAE's 'coercive trade measures targeting Qatar'
The Government Communications Office (GCO) on Wednesday said that the UAE has made a second request to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to refer a complaint it had lodged about alleged Qatari restrictions on the import and sales of goods, to a dispute-resolution panel.
In a statement, the office said the supply of goods from the UAE has been heavily restricted since the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt barred their suppliers from exporting to Qatar after blockading the country in June 2017.
The statement noted that Qatar had pointed out at a previous meeting that the alleged Qatari restrictions did not exist, adding that Emirati exporters may be suffering because they cannot export to Qatar, but that the responsibility for that lies with the Emirati restrictions, rather than with any measures taken by Qatar.
"Qatar regrets that the UAE did not take the opportunity, at that time, to look into its own restrictive trade measures. Instead, it circulated media statements suggesting that Qatar "confessed" that its instruments violated WTO rules. That was an unfortunate attempt to seize some small advantage in the UAE's continued media campaign against Qatar, and is -- like so much of the UAE's rhetoric concerning Qatar -- false," the statement said.
The GCO stressed that all Qatari actions taken concerning goods originating in the UAE have been, and remain, consistent with Qatar's WTO obligations. The office also said that WTO rules allow measures aimed at protecting consumers, including through requiring accurate statements about goods, adopting requirements to ensure human health, product safety, food sanitation and to address environmental concerns, highlighting that Qatar has longstanding laws in these areas, and will continue to enforce them rigorously.
The UAE is enforcing a complete economic embargo of Qatar along with Saudi Arabia and other regional allies.
Since 2017, the UAE along with Saudi Arabia and its allies have enforced a boycott of Qatar including bans on shipping, trade, direct flights, overflight and land crossings.
The WTO said that while a panel to assess the dispute had been established, it had not yet been composed and gave no date for the next stage.Last updated: May 29 2019 11:30 PM
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