The United Arab Emirates has demanded Qatar unblock a website that allows Qatari citizens to apply for entry permits to travel to the UAE.
The request was made during a hearing at the International Court of Justice, ICJ, held to consider the UAE’s plea that Qatar withdraws a complaint it lodged with the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, CERD, in Geneva.
Qatar alleged that the UAE had discriminated against its citizens on "racial grounds" in terms of travel and residency restrictions. The UAE also called upon Qatar to immediately stop misusing its national authorities and media outlets to spread lies and disinformation about the UAE and others.
Abdullah Al Naqbi, Director of International Law at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, reiterated the country’s respect for international forums and the ICJ. "Qatar is employing cheap tricks to put international forums in a fix. It should first stop its harmful policies against its just neighbours. It should stop funding and promoting terrorism and instead honour its commitment to the Riyadh Agreement," he added.
The UAE told the ICJ that Qatar was lodging multiple complaints with international bodies alleging that the UAE was not allowing Qatari residents to travel to the UAE on "racial grounds" while the website through which they could apply for residency permits remained blocked inside Qatar.
"Qatar is playing a duplicitous game with a view to escalate the dispute with its neighbours and divert global attention from its funding and patronage of extremist and terrorist groups in the Middle East and beyond. It has also unleashed its vast media network, which includes Al Jazeera, to spread lies and falsehoods against the UAE," the UAE pointed out.
The UAE requested the ICJ to direct CERD not to accept the Qatari complaint filed on 8th March last year on the ground that Qatar simultaneously lodged a similar complaint with the ICJ as well. The UAE asked the Court to issue its interim orders in the case in order to protect the country from Qatar’s malicious attempts to manipulate international legal procedures for the furtherance of its own selfish goals.
The UAE stressed that the real dispute with Qatar concerned the latter’s repeated violation of regional and international treaties and its support for terrorist organisations.