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Qatar airspace violation claims rejected

Bahrain refutes Qatar's allegations that UAE military aircraft violated its airspace

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Manama: Bahrain has refuted Qatar’s allegations that military aircraft belonging to the UAE had violated its airspace.

In a memorandum delivered by its mission to the United Nations in New York to the UN Security Council in response to the Qatari allegations, Bahrain said there was no violation by the United Arab Emirates aircraft of Qatari airspace, a statement carried by Bahrain News Agency (BNA) said.

The mission showed in its report the route of the UAE aircraft which Qatar claimed to have violated its airspace, the statement said.

Through the tracking of the flight routes, the report clearly shows the UAE aircraft went around Qatari airspace.

In addition, the report gives evidence that it was Qatar, in fact, that violated international law when it intercepted the UAE aircraft, earlier this week.

The statement described the act as an “irresponsible and unjustified escalation” by Doha.

“The Kingdom of Bahrain calls upon the State of Qatar to respect international law and to abide by the principles of good neighbourliness and not to repeat such unacceptable acts which endanger the lives of innocent civilians and threaten international peace and security,” the statement said.

On Wednesday, the UAE vowed to go through international channels to complain about Qatar’s interception of two regular UAE aircraft en route to Bahrain.

A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also refuted Qatari allegations that a UAE military aircraft violated Qatar’s airspace.

Radar footage documenting Qatari violations were presented by UAE Armed Forces and GCAA during the briefing.

Footage shown shows UAE military aircraft flying for 30 seconds over the UAE portion of a training zone set up by the two countries.

The development come amid a fresh escalation in tensions between Qatar and the UAE.

On Friday, the UAE denied a Qatari claim that its airspace was violated by an Emirates’ military aircraft in December.

On Wednesday evening, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Shaikh Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani accused the UAE of launching a media campaign against his country in 2017 as a means to build pressure to back up its demands from Doha.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, quickly denied Al Thani’s claims, calling the statements “delusional”.

He accused Doha of holding contrasting positions on several issues. “We are used to the two faces of Qatari political discourse,” he posted on his Twitter account. 

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Repeated attempts at reconciliation have failed because Qatar has refused to meet the demands of the quartet. 

“There is no way the crisis can be resolved without Qatar changing its policy...” he said.