Qatar has announced the formation of a committee to pursue compensation potentially worth billions of dollars for damages stemming from the blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Gulf crisis.
Ali bin Fetais al-Marri, Qatar’s attorney general, told reporters on Sunday in the capital Doha that the Compensation Claims Committee would handle claims made by private companies, including major firms such as Qatar Airways, public institutions and individuals.
He also said the body would use both domestic and international mechanisms to seek compensation, and would hire overseas law firms to handle its claims.
“You have people who have sustained damages, businessmen who have sustained damages, banks which have sustained damages. As a result of this blockade,” al-Marri said.
“And those who compelled these damages to happen must pay compensation for them.”
Members of the newly formed committee include Qatar’s minister of justice and minister of foreign affairs.
Al-Marri said that the decision to pursue compensation for damages was not tied to the current state of negotiations between Qatar and the blockading countries.
“The difference between politics and law is that in law there is continuity, unlike politics, which could be stopped by certain conditions,” he said.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar on June 5 and imposed a land, air and sea blockade on the country.
They also ordered Qatari citizens to leave their territories and took various steps against Qatari firms and financial institutions.
On June 22, they issued a 13-point list of demands, including the shutdown of Al Jazeera, as a prerequisite to lift the sanctions.
Doha rejected the demands and the quartet now considers the list “null and void”.
But the Gulf state of Kuwait is still trying to mediate the dispute.
The United Kingdom also stepped in as Boris Johnson, its foreign secretary, met the Saudi-led bloc’s senior officials on Friday, as well as visiting Kuwait’s foreign minister and Qatar’s Emir separately in their countries on Saturday.