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Qatar tribune
Tribune News Network
Qatar has blocked the UAE’s request for the establishment of a panel during the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body meeting in Geneva on Friday. The claims brought by the UAE have no justification, as Qatar has reiterated its full commitment to the agreements of the WTO.
“If the UAE goods are unable to access the Qatari market, this is solely due to its unilateral measure of imposing an unjust blockade on Qatar. We are perplexed that the UAE continues to maintain these illegal measures, yet complains about lack of market access to Qatar,” Qatar said in statement.
The statement said Qatar is surprised that the UAE has abruptly terminated consultations in the DS576 dispute and has rushed to seek the establishment of a panel. 
“The UAE’s complaint in DS576 is surreal because Qatar does not limit access for UAE goods to Qatar's market. To the extent that UAE goods are unable to access Qatari markets, this is solely because of the UAE’s own measures that prohibit movement of goods between the UAE and Qatar,” the statement said.
To recall, the UAE has imposed coercive and unlawful measures against Qatar, which is the subject to another ongoing dispute, DS526. 
“Qatar is perplexed that the UAE continues to maintain those measures, and yet complains of alleged lack of market access to Qatar. To the extent the UAE wishes to facilitate the access of its goods to the Qatari market, its recourse lies in removing its own unlawful measures, not in complaining about non-existent Qatari measures. If UAE exporters are frustrated at not being able to access Qatar's market, they should look closer to home to find the cause,” the statement added.
“The UAE has previously indicated that its own restrictive measures on exports to Qatar are necessary for national security purposes. With its request today, Qatar understands that the UAE no longer considers restrictions on export of goods to Qatar necessary for protecting its security interests,” it noted. 
“That being the case, the UAE’s own export restrictions have no legal justification. Therefore, we call on the UAE to immediately withdraw those measures. Qatar also wish to comment on the stark contrast between Qatar's conduct in the DS576 dispute and that of the UAE when Qatar requested consultations concerning the UAE measures on goods, services and IP rights in DS526. The UAE refused in that case to engage in consultations with Qatar,” it added 
“By contrast, in DS576, and consistent with our DSU obligations, Qatar participated in consultations in good faith when requested by the UAE to do so. We are disappointed that the UAE continues to abuse the system by picking and choosing when to engage in consultations,” the statement said.
Turning more specifically to DS576, there is no factual basis for the complaint, it said.
“Unlike the UAE, Qatar remains open for business with all WTO members and continues to adhere to all its international obligations,” it added.
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