Qatar says EU corruption clampdown a threat to relations

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DOHA: Qatar on Sunday condemned a corruption investigation by Belgium and the suspension of its access to the EU parliament, saying it could “negatively” impact relations and natural gas supplies.

A statement issued by a Qatari diplomat singled out Belgian authorities for criticism and insisted that “inaccurate” information had been used.

“The decision to impose such a discriminatory restriction that limits dialogue and cooperation on Qatar before the legal process has ended, will negatively effect regional and global security cooperation, as well as ongoing discussions around global energy poverty and security,” said the diplomat.

“We firmly reject the allegations associating our government with misconduct,” the statement added.

“Qatar was not the only party named in the investigation, yet our country has been exclusively criticised and attacked.”

“We have observed this week’s selective condemnation of our country with great alarm,” the statement said.

Belgian prosecutors said they had been investigating EU parliament corruption for more than a year before the raids and arrests of the past 10 days.

“It is deeply disappointing that the Belgian government made no effort to engage with our government to establish the facts once they became aware of the allegations,” said the diplomat.

The statement highlighted the “close” relationship with Belgium.

“Our nations cooperated during the Covid-19 pandemic and Qatar is an important supplier of LNG to Belgium,” it emphasised.