18 Jul 2017 - 2:19
Economy Minister discusses impact of siege with top officials in Switzerland
Minister of Economy and Commerce H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani has underlined that the measures taken by the siege countries are in violation of international laws, conventions and norms and are contrary to intellectual property rights as well as the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, which stipulates the need to ensure that no obstacles are added to trade between the member countries.
The Minister made the remarks during his visit to the Republic of Switzerland, during which he met with heads of international organizations and a group of lawyers from a legal firm specialising in WTO issues in Geneva. A statement issued by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce said that H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani had met with a number of presidents of international economic and trade organisations in Geneva to discuss the crisis caused by the siege countries against the State of Qatar which resulted in arbitrary measures, such as travel bans, border closures, air, land and sea ports closure with the State, in violation of international laws, conventions and norms, as well as a number of international, regional and local principles, conventions, provisions and laws.
The Minister of Economy and Commerce stressed that these measures are also contrary to the principles and provisions of the WTO agreements, especially the most-favoured-nation principle that no goods should be discriminated against by any member state compared to other goods and services, whether produced within the importing State or exported from any other State.
The Minister pointed out that the measures taken by the siege countries of the blockade are contrary to intellectual property rights and the trade facilitation agreement, which stipulates the need to ensure that no obstacles are added to trade between the member countries.
He stressed that these countries have suddenly, and without prior notice, and without resorting to the use of the mechanisms adopted by international organisations, as stipulated in international, regional and bilateral agreements, to close all their land and sea and air ports to the State of Qatar.
HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani said that the siege countries had gone further to embargo passage of Qatari aircraft through their air spaces as well as not to allow ships loaded with goods of traders and Qatari companies located in these countries or destined for the State of Qatar to enter their ports, provided that such goods are returned to the country of origin and not to allow exportation of their national products to the State of Qatar and not to allow national or foreign service companies located in their territories to deal with Qatari companies, while preventing postal and transportation companies from operating through their territories to the State of Qatar.
In addition, banks and financial companies were barred from dealing in Qatari riyals, and Qatari businessmen and companies were prevented from disposing of their property and goods in warehouses and free zones in these countries. They are still considering all the means they could use to harm the Qatari economy, the Minister added.
These countries have also placed restrictions on Qatari investments, including the closure of Qatari companies, the expulsion of their managers and the prevention of Qatari investors from disposing of their property, without any compensation for losses.
The Minister said that the State of Qatar, under the directives of Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani took all the measures necessary to stand against the illegal siege, provide products and services, as well as maintain the stability of Qatari markets. The Minister added that Qatar succeeded in that regard.
The Minister of Economy and Commerce and his accompanying delegation also met with a group of lawyers from a firm specialized in World Trade Organization (WTO) legal disputes, which was hired to study all the illegal measures taken by the siege countries against the State of Qatar.
The Minister also met with Director-General of WTO, Ambassador Roberto Azevedo, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Professor Klaus Schwab, and Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Dr Francis Gurry.
The Minister of Economy and Commerce said that the Qatar will take all the necessary legal measures and will seek international organisations, regional and international courts to file lawsuits against the siege countries.