(Doha) Doha warned on Sunday that European Parliament measures against Qatar, which is barred from entering the assembly over an alleged corruption case, would have a “negative impact” on the wealthy emirate’s gas and relations with global energy supplies.
The organization has been shaken by the opening of an investigation in Brussels targeting Greek MEP Eva Kaili, who is suspected of paying Qatar to protect the interests of the country currently hosting the World Cup.
In Strasbourg on Thursday, MEPs voted almost unanimously for a text “calling for the suspension of access permits to representatives of Qatari interests” during the hearing. The decision rests with the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola.
“Imposing a discriminatory restriction on Qatar, limiting dialogue and cooperation before legal proceedings are concluded, will have a negative impact on regional and global security cooperation as well as ongoing discussions on global energy scarcity and security,” a Qatari diplomat said on Sunday.
Along with the United States and Australia, Qatar is one of the world’s major producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it has attracted more and more European countries looking for an alternative to Russian gas.
Saying they were “disappointed” by allegations of corruption and money laundering, MEPs decided to suspend “all work on legislative files related to Qatar”, primarily related to the liberalization of visas for Qatar and Kuwait as well as the aviation agreement.
Qatar, which “firmly denies” the allegations against it, condemns “judgments based on inaccurate information revealed by leaks without waiting for the conclusion of the investigation,” a Qatari diplomat said in a press release.
He said the criticism and attacks were “specifically” aimed at Qatar, although it was not the only country cited in the investigation launched by Belgium.
In response to a journalist, the speaker of the parliament, Roberta Metsola, said on Thursday that she had “two meetings with Qatari government representatives in Brussels” and “declined” the Gulf country’s request to address the European Parliament.
She also said she turned down an invitation from Qatar to attend the FIFA World Cup, citing her “concerns for this country”.
The emirate’s involvement in the scandal and the many controversies over the Mondial – about respect for human rights or ecology – did not deter French President Emmanuel Macron from going to Doha to attend the final between France and Argentina. On Sunday.
He has already attended the France-Morocco semi-final on Wednesday.
In a statement released on Sunday, Qatar highlighted its “strong” relations with several European Union countries, expressing “thanks to those who have demonstrated their commitment to these relations in the face of the current attacks”.
On the other hand, the emirate has condemned the lack of cooperation from the Belgian government, which it says is a “close” partner and “important supplier” of liquefied natural gas.