Qatar Files WTO Complaint Against 4 Siege Nations

Arab quartet reinstates 13 demands for Qatar dialogue

Qatar Airways is expected to have access to three contingency routes over worldwide waters in early August, after a UN-led meeting on Monday discussed air corridors for Doha following a rift with its neighbours, a source familiar with the matter said.

The two ministers also say they discussed the ongoing crisis between Qatar and four Arab states that cut ties with it eight weeks ago.

The Saudi-led bloc has demanded that Qatar stop supporting the Muslim Brotherhood movement, end ties with rival Iran, and shut broadcaster Al Jazeera which they accuse of inciting unrest in their countries.

A state department official said the U.S. envoys will "provide USA support to the government of Kuwait's mediation efforts".

Qatar has repeatedly denied their accusations.

The disputed trade restrictions include Gulf bans on trade through Qatar's ports and travel by Qatari citizens to the three Gulf countries, blockages of Qatari digital services, closure of sea borders and the closure of airspace to Qatari aircraft.

The complaint could mark the first formal step in the WTO's dispute resolution process, which would force the countries to sit down and negotiate with Qatar. "The arbitrary measures taken by the siege countries are a clear violation of the provisions and conventions of global trade law".

Last month, foreign ministers of the quartet said they are ready to begin talks, if Qatar shows willingness to halt support for terrorism and abide by their demands. "We have not progressed an inch because we were under the impression that the 13 demands were not only null and void but channeled into six principles".

Net worldwide reserves dropped 30% in June to 88.85 billion riyals ($24 billion), according to the central bank.

Anwar Gargash, UAE state minister for foreign affairs, declared that Qatar's strategy in dealing with the crisis will fail because it does not tackle the roots of the problem, the support of extremism and its meddling to undermine the region's security and stability.

The decline in deposits squeezed liquidity, so the central bank used reserves to "ease the crunch and to preserve the riyal peg against the dollar", said Mohamed Abu Basha, a Cairo-based economist at EFG-Hermes, a regional investment bank. The boycott has dramatically driven up costs to import food, medicine and likely even building materials that Qatar needs for extensive infrastructure projects.

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