EU parliament’s corruption investigation can ‘negatively’ impact relations: Qatar

Condemning Belgium’s corruption investigation as well as the suspension imposed on its access to the parliament of the European Union (EU), Qatar said that this could leave a “negative” impact on its relations and disturb natural gas supplies.

A Qatari diplomat issued a statement in which it called out Belgian authorities for their criticism and stated that the officials have used “inaccurate” information.

Greek MEP Eva Kaili is among the six people who have been arrested after raids discovered cash amounting to €1.5 million ($1.6 million). According to the report, the cash recovered was related to a Gulf state, and last week Qatar’s access to the EU parliament was suspended by the latter.

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

“We firmly reject the allegations associating our government with misconduct. Qatar was not the only party named in the investigation, yet our country has been exclusively criticised and attacked,” the statement read

“We have observed this week’s selective condemnation of our country with great alarm,” it added.

Belgian prosecutors said that investigation of corruption involving the EU parliament is being carried out by them for more than a year before arrests and raids took place in the last 10 days.

WATCH| Qatar ‘corruption scandal’ rocks European parliament, Vice President Eva Kaili arrested

“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,” the diplomat stated. 

The statement also emphasised Qatar and Belgium’s “close” relationship.

“Our nations co-operated during the Covid-19 pandemic and Qatar is an important supplier of LNG to Belgium. The decision to exclusively ban representatives from a single nation at the EU Parliament demonstrates that MEPs have been significantly misled,” it read. 

“It is unfortunate that some acted on preconceived prejudices against Qatar and made their judgements based on the inaccurate information in the leaks rather than waiting for the investigation to conclude,” the statement added.

“Qatar has strong and longstanding ties with many countries in the European Union, and we extend our gratitude to those who have demonstrated their commitment to these relationships during this current wave of attacks against our country,” the diplomat stated.

(With inputs from agencies)

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