Qatar playing with the lives of passengers
The UAE aircraft followed scheduled, routine flight paths and it is hard to fathom what threat they posed to Qatar security.
Published: Mon 15 Jan 2018, 7:00 PM
Last updated: Mon 15 Jan 2018, 9:35 PM
Who would have thought Qatar would stoop to this level in its dispute with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain? It's now playing with the lives of innocents in a bid to ratchet up tensions with the four Arab countries. On Monday, UAE airlines complained to civil aviation authorities that Qatari fighter aircraft had intercepted their flights. The UAE aircraft followed scheduled, routine flight paths and it is hard to fathom what threat they posed to Qatar security. However, it must be made clear that bullying and interceptions of this nature will not be tolerated, and the Arab countries remain steadfast in their demands and resolve that Doha end its support to terrorism and rein in its media arm Al Jazeera. The country deserves to be boycotted for its role as a terror facilitator as groups and individuals use its hospitality and money to plan campaigns against fellow Gulf countries. These are acts of betrayal and Qatar's role as a terror haven have been exposed.
But last week, Qatar decided to up the ante by putting out false stories that a UAE fighter aircraft had violated its airspace. UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash angrily denied the accusation and said Qatar was busy spreading lies. Doha's imagination has been hyper-active after the four Arab countries took punitive action against it last year. It has dug into its deep pockets to promote narrow ideological interests while putting the security of the region in peril. Worse, it is seen to be moving to the Iran and Turkey camp, which only complicates efforts to resolve what is essentially an Arab row. With Qatar deciding to escalate the issue, the UAE has every right to take measures that ensure the safety of its aircraft and passengers. Doha's move to heighten tensions at this juncture will be counter-productive if it intends to normalise relations with Arab countries in the future. It finds itself on the precipice, and is alone and unwanted. It would do well to turn back before it finds itself on the wrong side of history.