Qatar Could Take Saudi-Led Bloc to ICC Over Blockade

Al-Attiyah says the dispute with the Persian Gulf Arab states goes back to 1996, adding that it was a coup at that time and much more nasty
Khalid bin Mohammad al-AttiyahKhalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah

Qatar’s Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah hinted that his country could sue the Saudi-led bloc before the International Criminal Court for compensations over the blockade imposed on the Persian Gulf state.

In an interview with TRT World aired late Monday, al-Attiyah said the current situation is similar to that of Nicaragua, when Managua sued the US before the ICC in the 1980s for reparations over Washington’s support for rebels against the government, Anadolu reported.

The ICC ruled against the US and awarded Nicaragua reparations.

Last month, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, and imposed a sea and land blockade on it, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.

The quartet presented a list of demands for Qatar to end the blockade, including the closure of the Al Jazeera television and a Turkish military base, or face further sanctions.

Doha denies the accusation, saying the blockade is a violation of international law.

  Turkish Base Remains Open

Pointing to the Turkish base in Qatar, al-Attiyah said “unfortunately, we did not choose the time to attack, besiege and boycott Qatar, they (Saudi-led bloc) did choose the time so they cannot come and ask us to close a base where everybody knows about it from a long time back and this is considered a relation between two sovereign states.”

Doha and Ankara signed a defense agreement in 2014 under which Turkey established a base in the Arab state at the request of the Qatari government.

The minister also said that the dispute with Persian Gulf states goes back to 1996, adding that it was a coup at that time and much more nasty.

“Similar things happened in 2013-2014 and everyone knew what happened then,” stressing that all accusations against Doha, and the emir of Qatar that his policies were against the (P)GCC are not true.

“The emir assumed power on June 25, 2013. At that time I was in the government, and on July 26, I became the minister of foreign affairs and we went to take oath in front of his highness, the emir. Days later, in July, I received a phone call from my colleague in Kuwait, saying they received a complaint from Saudi about Qatar making trouble in the region. They had to come together quickly to solve this issue. That was maybe 10 days after his highness, the emir assumed power,” al Attiyah added.

He further said to be or not to be a part of PGCC was now in the hands of Qatari people, saying that “the answer is in the hands of Qatari people, it is for them to decide.”


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