Al Jazeera lodges $150 million claim against Egypt

The Qatar-backed, pan-Arab satellite network Al Jazeera said Monday it has lodged a formal complaint against Egypt demanding $150 million in compensation to cover what it says are damages to its investments in the country since July.

The move is certain to deepen a rift between Egypt’s interim government and the small Gulf nation of Qatar, which was a strong supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood.

Al-Jazeera said in a statement posted on its website that it lodged a formal “notification of dispute” with Egypt’s interim government based on a bilateral investment treaty between Qatar and Egypt dating back to 1999. That pact calls on both governments to provide “fair and equitable treatment” to investors, according to the network. It did not say where it was lodged.

“As the treaty obliges Egypt to provide Al Jazeera’s investments with full protection and security, Al Jazeera considers the Egyptian authorities to be in violation of international law,” the network said.

It threatened to seek international arbitration if it the two sides do not reach a settlement within six months…