Geneva — Qatar has asked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to set up a panel to arbitrate its complaint against Gulf neighbours over a four-month old blockade, sources at the global trade body said Friday. Qatar turned to the WTO in August, insisting it was the victim of an "illegal siege" by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, which have cut ties with Doha over its links to Iran and accusations that it supports extremists. In the initial WTO filing, Qatar requested "consultations" with its rivals, a procedural move required by the Geneva-based organisation before a dispute settlement body panel can be set up. In a document dated Thursday, the WTO said the UAE had refused consultations with Doha, meaning a dispute panel will almost certainly be set up. It was not immediately clear whether Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have also rejected negotiations with Qatar at the WTO. The dispute settlement process at the WTO can take months, if not years, with initial rulings ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now