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More Than 1500 Firms Demand Siege Compensation

Over 1500 private firms and businesses have filed complaints seeking compensation for the losses incurred due to the ongoing crisis imposed by the Saudi led bloc, a top official of Qatar Chamber (QC) told.

A Compensation Claims Committee was formed in July to help the businesses to recover its losses caused by the economic and diplomatic blockade against Qatar by the four Arab states.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani (pictured), Chairman of QC, said: “Out of the over 1,500 applications received so far seeking compensation, about 800 cases have already been reviewed and submitted to the committee for legal action.”

Commenting on the magnitude of the damages and the chances of the winnability of cases, Sheikh Khalifa, added: “The damages are to the tune of billions of dollars. I have the estimated figures for the losses, but we are still receiving applications and the figure is growing. As far the chances of success is concern, it would be too early to comment on that. But what I can say is that our cases are very-very strong.”

He informed that the losses were of different types. They are not restricted to confiscation of Qatari vessels or the extra amount of money companies are required to pay for sourcing goods and services from alternative destinations due to the siege.

“It is also about losses in business opportunities companies suffered due to the siege. A lot of companies have commitments with Qatar, for instance finishing projects in certain time period at a given cost, but they are facing constraints due to the blockade. A lot of companies used to source materials, manpower resources, and many other things from the blockading countries, whose supplies were abruptly suspended by the siege countries without prior notice or any valid reason,” he said.

Speaking about the courts Qatar is approaching, he said that it is up to the committee and the lawyers to decide. The committee is interacting with international law firms for further actions in concerned courts, which can include courts based in the US and Europe.

“The Committee has appointed lawyers, and we will go everywhere possible to seek justice”, noted the chairman of Qatar’s oldest and largest private industry representative body. Commenting on the possibility of participating in the upcoming meetings of the Federation of Gulf Cooperation Council Chambers (FGCCC), he said Qatar will attend all meetings irrespective of the presence or absence of the representatives from the blockading countries.

“The next meetings of GCC Chambers are expected to be held next month, or in December, in Muscat (Oman’s capital). We will attend every GCC and the League of Arab States’ meetings. If the blocking countries do not want to participate, it’s up to them… In fact we already participated in a meeting of GCC Chambers in Azerbaijan last week,” Sheikh Khalifa stressed.

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