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UAE, other Arab states to present before ICAO their case on airspace closure to Qatari aircraft

Wam/Abu Dhabi
Filed on July 15, 2020 | Last updated on July 15, 2020 at 06.19 am
International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain

In June 2017, the quartet cut off diplomatic and transportation ties with Qatar as a response to its support for extremist groups.

The UAE's airspace measures against Qatar will remain in effect, the country has reiterated. The statement comes following an International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict on Tuesday which held that the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has jurisdiction to address Qatar's allegations against the quartet of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt on civil aviation issues.

In June 2017, the quartet cut off diplomatic and transportation ties with Qatar as a response to its support for extremist groups.

The UAE will now put its case before the ICAO. "The ICJ's decision was technical and limited to procedural issues and jurisdiction to address the dispute; it did not consider the merits of the case," said Dr Hissa Abdullah Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the Netherlands. "We have the highest respect for the court and will be looking at its decision closely."

"There are important points in the judgement that the UAE and Quartet will rely on in proceedings before the ICAO Council. We note that other important questions have been left unanswered by the judgement; issues that we will address in front of the ICAO Council."

"We look forward to explaining to the ICAO Council that the UAE restricted Qatari planes from UAE airspace as one of a number of measures flowing from the termination of relations by 10 states, including the UAE," Al Otaiba said.

"This was in response to Qatar's longstanding support for terrorist and extremist groups and its active steps to promote unrest in the region. The UAE believes that the council will not attempt to second-guess the national security decisions of ICAO member states. In the meantime, the UAE's airspace measures remain in effect.

"This crisis will not be resolved in the ICAO or in any other international organisation. Relations will only improve when Qatar implements the Riyadh Agreements and is willing to demonstrate that it will play a constructive role in the region," she added.

Wam


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