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UAE withdraws trade complaint with WTO against Qatar

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has withdrawn a complaint it had lodged with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Qatar over its alleged imposing of discriminatory trade restrictions on its goods.

According to Press TV, the UAE foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday “Qatar withdrew the measures in question, in order to address the claims” which led Abu Dhabi to discontinue its action against Doha.

The UAE, whose complaint was referred to a WTO dispute resolution panel back in May, has enforced a complete economic embargo, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, on the peninsular country since June 2017.

The Saudi-led Quartet, the so-called siege states, severed ties with Doha, officially accusing Qatar of supporting “terrorism” and destabilizing West Asia, allegations that ِDoha says are unjustified and stem from false claims and assumptions.

Abu Dhabi had earlier said that Qatar’s alleged measures it had challenged “appear to be inconsistent” with WTO agreements. The UAE initially made its complaint to the organization in January.

“Qatar’s discriminatory measures against goods… originating from the United Arab Emirates, imposed in May and June 2018, violated Qatar’s obligations and commitments as a member of the WTO,” added the Thursday statement.

“As a result, the UAE put forward a request for the formation of a WTO dispute settlement panel on January 28, 2019 against Qatar to seek the withdrawal of the discriminatory measures,” the Emirati statement added.

A year after the Saudi-led quartet cut ties with Qatar and hit it with bans on shipping, trade, direct flights, over flight and land crossings, the dispute moved to the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, where Doha accused Abu Dhabi of racial discrimination and human rights abuses against its citizens in the UAE.

In July 2018, the court ordered the UAE to safeguard the rights of its Qatari residents, and to stop measures that would prevent Qatari students from completing their studies.

In May this year, the UAE accused Qatar before the ICJ of “aggravating” the two-year-old crisis and of making “false accusations.” A day later, Doha accused Abu Dhabi of a “campaign of violence and hatred” against its citizens.

Qatar has not yet commented on the UAE’s decision to withdraw the complaint.