News ID: 235250
Published: 0323 GMT December 04, 2018

Saudi Arabia refuses to engage in WTO dispute brought by Qatar

Saudi Arabia refuses to engage in WTO dispute brought by Qatar

Saudi Arabia told the World Trade Organization on Tuesday that national security concerns meant it “simply will not engage in dispute settlement procedures” in an intellectual property dispute with Qatar, according to a transcript seen by Reuters.

Qatar launched the dispute in October, saying Saudi Arabia was blocking Qatari-owned broadcaster beIN and refusing to take effective action against the piracy of beIN content by a sophisticated pirate operation called “beoutQ”.

Representatives of the United States, Egypt and Bahrain supported the Saudi position at a WTO dispute settlement meeting, while European Union and Turkish diplomats spoke up in support of Qatar, a Geneva trade official said.

Last June, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates imposed a trade and diplomatic embargo on Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, an allegation strongly denied by the emirate and accused the four countries of trying to curtail its sovereignty.

The Saudi-led bloc presented Qatar with a list of demands, among them downgrading ties with Iran, and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face consequences. Qatar said it would not compromise its sovereignty.


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