The Hague, Sep 2 (efe-epa).- Qatar on Wednesday asked the International Court of Justice to declare itself competent to judge a discrimination complaint brought against its neighbor the United Arab Emirates.
Qatari lawyer Mohammed Abdulaziz told judges at the UN high court: “The UAE seeks to avoid the jurisdiction of this court because it seeks to avoid the truth.”
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain broke relations with Qatar in June 2017 over a diplomatic clash that broke out in the Persian Gulf and imposed air, sea and trade blockades.
Abu Dhabi issued a decree giving Qataris living in the country 14 days to leave.
Doha alleges this order was in breach of the United Nations’ 1969 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, of which both nations are a party.
“This dispute is about the UAE’s punitive discriminatory measures, which are intended to bend the state of Qatar to the UAE’s political will by inflicting maximum suffering on the Qatari people,” Abdulaziz said.
Qatar has accused the UAE of expelling thousands of its citizens, closing the offices of Doha-based news channel Al Jazeera, grounding flights between the two capitals and banning Qatar’s ships from operating in Emirate ports.
UAE lawyers argued earlier this week that the ICJ does not have jurisdiction to judge the case.
One of the country’s legal representatives Abdalla Hamdan told the court on Monday that Qatar was trying to apply the UN law “beyond its proper scope” and the UAE continues to comply with the convention.
He added that Qatari citizens are free to enter the UAE providing they undergo a screening process and security checks and that more than 95 percent of applications had been approved.