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UAE, Saudi to file countersuit against Qatar, as feud reaches boiling point

The UAE has refuted every single allegation made by Qatar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, Netherlands.

The UAE presented evidence after evidence to dispel any rumors or claims made by Qatar about discrimination against the country and its citizens, a Qatar whose own Human Watch record is severely compromised.

Both the UAE and Saudi plan a legal counteroffensive against Qatar.

Here’s the very latest.

Related: GCC summit cut short, Qatar completely cut out

Court filing

The United Nations’ highest court last Wednesday began hearing a lawsuit by Qatar that accuses the UAE of “discrimination against Qatar and Qatari citizens”, CBC/Radio-Canada reported.

The UAE denied the allegations and on Thursday refuted any and all claims.

The case is the latest clash in a growing over a year-long conflict between a coalition of countries; the UAE, Saudi, Bahrain, and Egypt; on one end, and Qatar on the other, with the 4 Arab nations having cut ties with Qatar last June 5, 2017.

“The UAE’s alleged violations include that thousands of Qataris are unable to return to the UAE, separated from their families there,” reported CBC

The coalition accuses Qatar of supporting extremist groups in the region, charges denied by Doha.

Qatar has been handed a list of 13 demands by its Gulf neighbors, including closing Al Jazeera, removing Turkish troops from the country and scaling back its cooperation with Iran.

It has not met any of them.

Read: Qatar offensive: From a war of words to a showdown in the skies

The UAE has sent its own complaints as well, accusing Qatari military aircraft of flying dangerously close to Emirati planes.

Saudi Arabia is considering a $750m project to build a 200m wide and 60km long canal along its border with Qatar turning it effectively into an island, in a sign of increasing tensions between the two nations, UK’s Daily reported.

On Wednesday, the four Arab nations said they’d take their own case to the ICJ.

“The appeals and hearings of the International Court of Justice are expected to take a long time … and accordingly the four states will continue to close their regional airspace to Qatari aircraft in order to preserve their national security and sovereign rights,” the nations said in a statement reported by CBC.

Read: Saudi sports minister calls for Qatar to be stripped of World Cup 2022

UAE’s reply

The UAE presented its submissions to the ICJ Thursday, June 28, in connection with the request for provisional measures filed by the State of Qatar against the UAE on 11 June 2018, reported state agency WAM.

“Qatar has falsely alleged that the measures taken by the UAE against Qatar since June 5, 2017, breach the UAE’s commitments under the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (the Convention),” reported WAM.

“The UAE maintains that it is in full compliance with the Convention.”

The UAE has presented evidence it had not implemented any measures for the expulsion or deportation of Qatari nationals based on their nationality.

It said thousands of Qatari citizens currently residing in and visiting the UAE and continue to enjoy the full rights granted by law to all residents or visitors of the UAE, from living with their families, to attending schools, and having access to health care as well as government services, as well as running businesses and working in government jobs.

Read: The right step to preserve the GCC is to freeze Qatar’s membership’

Summary of evidence submitted by the UAE

The UAE submitted official evidence that: As of mid-June, 2018, there were 2194 Qataris in the UAE, a number that is not substantially different than the number as at June 5, 2017. Qataris in the UAE continue to enjoy the full rights granted to all visitors and residents.

The UAE submitted official statistics proving that: Qatari citizens continue to freely transfer money both from and to the UAE. The UAE’s evidence includes a summary of bank remittances between the UAE and Qatar showing inward remittances of $7.2bn and outward remittances of AED $4.3bn for the period of June 2017 to April 2018.

The UAE also presented official evidence that: Qatari citizens continue to enjoy access to their assets and investments in the UAE, including copies of commercial licenses issued by the UAE authorities to Qatari companies during the period of the crisis.

Desperate moves: Qatar fires blanks aimed at Saudi, UAE products

Qatar’s Human watch record

Less than 10 percent of Qatar’s population of 2.1 million are Qatari nationals. The country has been increasingly dependent on migrant labor as Qatar continued to build stadiums and develop infrastructure in preparation for hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

“Low-paid migrant workers, mostly from Asia and to a lesser extent Africa, continued to face abuse and exploitation,” said HRW.

“Workers typically pay exorbitant recruitment fees. Employers regularly take control of workers’ passports when they arrive in Qatar. Many migrant workers complain that employers failed to pay their wages on time, and sometimes not at all.”

According to The Parliament, an online EU news site, the deputy Prime Minister of Qatar has admitted that his country “can still do more” on meeting international standards on labor rights.

The minister was responding to criticism that while it will spend an estimated $200bn on major infrastructure projects ahead of the 2022 World Cup, it appears that the wellbeing of the workers building these facilities has often been overlooked.

“The supreme committee organizing the event has recorded 10 deaths since October 2015, reported the news site.

The number of workers at World Cup stadiums is expected to rise from 12,000 to 36,000 this year and the issue was raised at a meeting of the foreign affairs committee on Thursday.

Read: Is the 4-nation coalition boycott against Qatar nearing an end?

Saudi, Qatar fight over World Cup broadcasting rights

CNBC reported that Saudi and Qatar’s clash over World Cup piracy just got worse with soccer’s European and international governing bodies now heavily involved in the dispute.

Qatari-owned sports and entertainment broadcaster beIN Sports has accused TV channel BeoutQ which it claims based in Saudi Arabia of stealing and illegally broadcasting its coverage of the sports tournament taking place in Russia.

“Saudi Arabia has denied the claims and the spat is seen as another front in a diplomatic dispute between the neighbors amid a Saudi-led blockade of Qatar,” said CNBC.

Saudi Arabia is not taking the accusations lying down, with the country’s sports minister, Turki al-Sheikh, taking to Twitter last week to deliver a series of stinging comments criticizing UEFA and FIFA and their decision to allow beIN Sports, which he insinuated was a propaganda instrument of Qatar, to show the games.

Saudi’s Ministry of Information also rejected the accusation that BeoutQ is based in the kingdom.

“The government of Saudi Arabia is, and will remain, devoted to protecting IP rights within the country,” it said.