The Hague, Aug 31 (efe-epa).- The United Arab Emirates on Monday argued that the International Court of Justice does not have jurisdiction to judge a discrimination complaint brought by its neighbor Qatar.
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.
Qatar has said the UAE expelled thousands of its citizens in retaliation, closed the offices of Doha-based news channel Al Jazeera, grounded flights between the two capitals and banned Qatar’s ships from operating in Emirate ports.
UAE lawyer Abdalla Hamdan told the ICJ on Monday: “The measures taken against Qatar have nothing to do with racial discrimination.”
Doha has alleged that these actions were in breach of the United Nations’ 1969 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, of which both nations are party.
Hamdan said Qatar was trying to apply the UN law “beyond its proper scope” and that the UAE continues to comply with the convention.
He argued that the closure of Al Jazeera and the ban on Qatari ships would not fall within the scope of the agreement.
The lawyer added that Qatari citizens are free to enter the UAE providing they undergo a screening process and security checks as with other countries.
More than 95 percent of Qataris who apply to cross the border are approved, which shows that there is no racial discrimination, according to Abu Dhabi.
Qatar will respond to the UAE’s statements on Wednesday and will ask the ICJ to declare itself competent and judge the case.