UAE eases Qatar shipping ban amid continuing dispute

By Alexander Cornwell, Lisa Barrington and Eric Knecht DUBAI/DOHA (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates has eased a ban on the shipping of goods between it and Qatar enforced under a political and economic boycott of Doha, according to port circulars and an industry source. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain severed diplomatic, trade and transport ties with Qatar in June 2017 over allegations it supports terrorism, a charge Doha denies

Reuters February 21, 2019 00:05:51 IST
UAE eases Qatar shipping ban amid continuing dispute

UAE eases Qatar shipping ban amid continuing dispute

By Alexander Cornwell, Lisa Barrington and Eric Knecht

DUBAI/DOHA (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates has eased a ban on the shipping of goods between it and Qatar enforced under a political and economic boycott of Doha, according to port circulars and an industry source.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain severed diplomatic, trade and transport ties with Qatar in June 2017 over allegations it supports terrorism, a charge Doha denies.

An Abu Dhabi Ports circular dated Feb. 12 cancelled previous directives that banned cargoes of Qatar origin from UAE waters and ports and those of UAE origin from Qatar.

It maintained a ban on vessels flying the Qatar flag, owned by Qatari shipping firms or nationals. UAE-flagged vessels still cannot call at Qatar ports.

An industry source told Reuters the circular applied to all UAE ports. Government authorities in both Gulf Arab states did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

Liberian flagged container ship MSC ELSA 3 arrived at Dubai's Jebel Ali Port on February 20 from Qatar's Umm Said, according to Refinitiv data.

It was not clear if the move was linked to complaints filed to the World Trade Organisation related to the Gulf dispute.

Qatar filed in July 2017 a wide-ranging legal complaint at the WTO to challenge the trade boycott. Last month, the UAE filed a complaint against Qatar at the WTO saying Doha has imposed a ban on Emirati products.

On the political front, there has been no indication of a thaw. The UAE and Saudi Arabia have said the dispute is not a priority and that Qatar must accept a list of conditions before ties are restored. Qatar has said that although it would like the matter resolved it is moving on and last year quit oil producer group OPEC, of which Saudi Arabia is de facto leader.

Diplomats in the Gulf say the boycott has raised costs for companies operating in the region, with vessels forced to call at ports in third countries when sailing between Qatar and UAE.

Qatar's economy has largely weathered the boycott thanks to the tiny country's vast wealth, which was swiftly deployed by the government to support the financial sector.

The world's largest natural gas exporter also forged new trade links to meet domestic demand, including basic goods such as food, and construction material as it prepares to host the 2022 World Cup.

(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell, Lisa Barrington and Eric Knecht; Additional reporting by Nafisa Eltahir,; Editing by Alison Williams, William Maclean)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.