UAE accuses Qatar of airspace violation, again

Two Gulf states are on opposite sides of the months-long crisis in inter-Arab relations 

UAE accuses Qatar of airspace violation, again

World Bulletin / News Desk

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday lodged a complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), saying Qatari warplanes had “intercepted” two Emirati civilian aircraft over Bahraini airspace on Mar. 26. 

“The UAE has filed a detailed complaint [against Qatar] under Article 54 of the Chicago Convention [on international civil aviation],” Saif al-Suweidi, director-general of the UAE's Civil Aviation Authority, said in a statement. 

“This behavior... threatens the safety of both passengers and airline crews," al-Suweidi asserted, saying the ICAO planned to investigate the allegation. 

Some two months ago, Abu Dhabi similarly accused the Qatari air force of having illegally “intercepted” two Emirati civilian aircraft en route to Bahraini capital Manama on Jan. 15.

Doha, for its part, has denied both allegations. 

Recent months have seen a flurry of tit-for-tat accusations of airspace breaches between Qatar, the UAE and Bahrain. 

The accusations come amid a months-long crisis in inter-Arab relations in which Qatar remains at odds with a four-nation Arab bloc led by Saudi Arabia.

Last summer, Saudi Arabia abruptly cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups and standing too close to Shia Iran. 

The Saudi-led bloc threatened to impose further sanctions on Doha if the latter failed to accept a long list of demands, including the closure of Qatar-based television broadcaster Al Jazeera. 

Qatar vociferously denies the accusations against it, describing attempts to isolate it by its fellow Arab Gulf states as a violation of international law and its national sovereignty.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Nisan 2018, 09:14