Missing Sheikh, 'Intercepted' Planes Reignite Gulf Arab Row

17 January, 2018, 02:21 | Author: Irene Delgado
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Four UAE-based airlines - Emirates, Etihad, flydubai and Air Arabia - operate flights to Bahrain.

Last week, Qatar announced that it had filed a complaint with the United Nations regarding an alleged violation of its airspace last month by a UAE military aircraft - a claim denied at the time by Abu Dhabi.

The United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority announced on Monday that two Qatari fighter jets intercepted two of its commercial airliners en route to Bahrain, state news agency WAM reported.

Earlier, Bahrain's foreign ministry strongly condemned the intercept as a blatant violation of worldwide conventions and laws issued by ICAO and the Chicago Convention.

Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic, trade and transport links with gas-rich Qatar in June, accusing it of destabilizing the region by supporting terrorism, a charge it denies.

Emirates is the Dubai government controlled, worldwide carrier of the UAE.

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She said: "It seems that the Civil Aviation Authority in the UAE, by publishing false claims, is trying to pre-empt events and cover over news of the Emirati plane penetration of Qatari airspace".

Suwaidi said the UAE aircraft had been intercepted in air space managed by Bahrain.

Qatari officials, for their part, have strenuously denied the allegations.

Doha, however, denies the claims and Ankara has insisted there is absolutely no evidence to back them. Sheikh Abdullah was courted by Saudi Arabia's King Salman and was touted in U.A.E. media past year as a possible replacement for the Qatari ruler. "I just want to inform you that if anything happened to me, Qatar is innocent and I am under the hospitality of Sheikh Mohammed and if anything were to happen to me, then it's on him", Al Thani said, referring to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

Mysterious goings-on allegedly involving the forcible detention of a Qatari royal and intercepted Bahrain-bound planes have escalated the feud straining ties among Gulf Arab monarchies.

He described the act of Qatari fighter jets approaching the civilian UAE planes without warning as a flagrant violation of worldwide laws, a threat to civil aviation safety, and a serious and unprecedented act of intimidation. Turkey operates a military base in Qatar, and Turkish troops are deployed in the Tariq bin Ziyad Base under an agreement signed in 2014.

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