Europe 1 with AFP 2:53 p.m., December 18, 2022
Hit by a corruption scandal, the European Parliament has taken action against Qatar.
This Sunday, Doha warned that they will have a "negative impact" on relations and global energy supply.
Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Qatar is increasingly courted by European countries.
European Parliament measures against Qatar, whose access to the assembly could be blocked in the context of an alleged corruption affair, will have a "negative impact" on relations with the rich gas emirate and the global energy supply, warned Doha on Sunday.
The opening of an investigation in Brussels targeting in particular the Greek MEP Eva Kaili, suspected of having been paid by Qatar to defend the interests of the country which currently hosts the World Cup, has shaken the institution.
Last Thursday in Strasbourg, MEPs voted almost unanimously for a text in which they "urge the suspension of access permits for representatives of Qatari interests" during the investigation.
The decision rests with the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola.
"The decision to impose such a discriminatory restriction on Qatar, limiting dialogue and cooperation before the end of the legal process, will have a negative impact on regional and global security cooperation, as well as on ongoing discussions on global energy scarcity and security," a Qatari diplomat said on Sunday.
Qatar is one of the main producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, along with the United States and Australia.
Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, it is increasingly courted by European countries, looking for an alternative to Russian gas.
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Saying they were "dismayed" by the alleged acts of corruption and money laundering, MEPs also decided to suspend "all work on legislative files relating to Qatar", in the first place those concerning visa liberalization for Qatar. and Kuwait as well as an aviation agreement.
Qatar, which "firmly rejects" the accusations against it, regrets "the judgments based on inaccurate information revealed by leaks without waiting for the conclusion of the investigation", said the Qatari diplomat in a press release.
While it is not the only country cited in the investigation opened by Belgium, criticism and attacks target "exclusively" Qatar, he said.
Strong links with many EU countries
In response to a journalist, the President of Parliament, Roberta Metsola, said Thursday that she had "two meetings with representatives of the Qatari government in Brussels" and had "refused" the request of the Gulf country to address the European Parliament.
She also said she had declined an invitation from Qatar to attend the FIFA World Cup, citing her "concerns about this country".
The alleged involvement of the emirate in this scandal, and the many controversies on the Mondial - about respect for human rights or ecology - did not discourage the French president, Emmanuel Macron, from going in Doha to take part in the final between France and Argentina this Sunday.
He had already attended the France-Morocco semi-final on Wednesday.
In the statement issued on Sunday, Qatar underlined its "strong" ties with many countries of the European Union, expressing its "gratitude to those who have demonstrated their commitment to these relations in the face of the current wave of attacks".
On the other hand, the emirate denounced the lack of cooperation from the Belgian government, which it said was a "close" partner and "an important supplier" of liquefied natural gas.