Araweelo News Network
Abu Dhabi(AN)-The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has lodged a formal complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), alleging that Qatari warplanes had repeatedly intercepted Emirati civilian aircraft in regular and scheduled flight paths.
Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, the director-general of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), said on Monday that Abu Dhabi had made an exhaustive complaint as per Article No. 54 of the Chicago Convention, which takes into account the national interests of the ICAO’s member states.
“These aggressive actions by Qatar against UAE civilian aircrafts are considered as deliberate violations of international covenants and conventions governing civil aviation and are a threat to the safety of civil aviation. The UAE outright rejects these acts,” he said.
The UAE says a number of Qatari fighter jets approached two UAE civilian aircraft during scheduled routine flights last week.
On January 12, Qatar lodged a complaint with the UN about an alleged violation of its airspace on December 21 by an Emirati military plane. Moreover, Doha, also alleged a day later that a second Emirati warplane had violated Qatari airspace as it was traveling from the UAE to Bahrain on January 3, “without prior authorization.”
The Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash at the time flatly denied the accusation relating to the first incident and said Abu Dhabi would send an official response.
On January 15, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) alleged that Qatar has “intercepted” two Emirati passenger aircraft en route to Bahrain earlier in the day, but Doha strongly rejected the accusation. A day later, the GCAA announced that it was set to lodge a complaint with the UN aviation agency over the purported interceptions.
On January 18, the UAE said that it had filed a formal complaint with the UN over Qatar’s purported interceptions of two Bahrain-bound Emirati passenger planes three days earlier.
On March 10, Qatar News Agency said that Doha had issued a formal complaint to the UN, alleging that a UAE military transport aircraft carrier violated its airspace on January 14 and again on February 25.
The United Arab Emirates is one of four Arab countries, which also include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, that imposed in June last year a trade and diplomatic embargo on Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, an allegation strongly denied by Doha.
The quartet of boycotters has also barred Qatari aircraft from using their airspace. Qatar’s only land border with Saudi Arabia has also been blocked as a result.
The Saudi-led bloc then presented Qatar with a list of demands, among them downgrading ties with Iran, and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face consequences.
Qatar, however, refused to meet the demands and said that they were meant to force the country to surrender its sovereignty.