Qatar to seek com­pen­sa­tion for dam­ages from Arab block­ade

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

Qatar’s gov­ern­ment said Sun­day it is form­ing a com­mit­tee to pur­sue com­pen­sa­tion for dam­ages stem­ming from its iso­la­tion by four Arab coun­tries.

Saudi Ara­bia, the United Arab Emi­rates, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplo­matic ties and sev­ered air, land and sea links with nat­u­ral gas-rich Qatar last month, ac­cus­ing it of a list of griev­ances in­clud­ing sup­port­ing ex­trem­ism. Qatar has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions, and has char­ac­ter­ized the bloc’s ul­ti­ma­tums as an af­front to its sovereignty.

Qatari Public Prose­cu­tor Ali Al-Marri told re­porters in the Qatari cap­i­tal, Doha, that the com­mit­tee will han­dle claims made by pri­vate com­pa­nies, public in­sti­tu­tions and in­di­vid­u­als.

He gave few de­tails, but said the body would use both do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional mech­a­nisms to seek com­pen­sa­tion, and will hire over­seas law firms to han­dle its claims.

“You have peo­ple who have sus­tained dam­ages, busi­ness­men who have sus­tained dam­ages, banks which have sus­tained dam­ages. As a re­sult of this block­ade.’’ he said.

“And those who com­pelled these dam­ages to hap­pen must pay com­pen­sa­tion for them.’’

Mem­bers of the new­ly­formed com­mit­tee in­clude Qatar’s min­is­ter of jus­tice and min­is­ter of for­eign af­fairs.

The Gulf state of Kuwait has been try­ing, un­suc­cess­fully so far, to me­di­ate the dis­pute.

On Fri­day, the anti-Qatar bloc ac­cused Qatar of thwart­ing all ef­forts aimed at re­solv­ing the rift and said it in­tends to “con­tinue its pol­icy aimed at desta­bi­liz­ing se­cu­rity in the re­gion.’’

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