UAE's letter to UN lambasts Qatar plot to raise tension
The UAE was to lodge a complaint against Qatar at the UN's aviation agency.- Alamy Image
New York - Qatari air force jets had intercepted two UAE civilian aircraft on routine commercial flights to Bahrain.
By Wam, Reuters
Published: Wed 17 Jan 2018, 10:09 PM
The UAE has come down heavily on Qatar's conspiracy to escalate tensions by falsely accusing Emirati fighter jets of violating its airspace.
In a memorandum to the United Nations Security Council, the UAE Permanent Mission to the UN condemned in the strongest terms Qatar's allegations of infiltration of its airspace by UAE military aircraft, said Yacoub Yousef Al Hosani, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Denouncing the current escalation by Qatar, the memorandum called upon the Gulf state to abide by international law.
The UAE was to lodge a complaint against Qatar at the UN's aviation agency on Tuesday after Qatari war planes intercepted UAE civilian aircraft, a UAE official said.
It said on Monday that Qatari air force jets had intercepted two UAE civilian aircraft on routine commercial flights to Bahrain.
The UAE was to accuse Qatar of violating the Chicago Convention, which governs the use of airspace, in a complaint to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), UAE General Civil Aviation Authority Director-General Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi said.
Suwaidi said the UAE would ask ICAO's council to discuss the interception, and that he was confident ICAO could stop a repeat of Monday's incidents.
According to the UAE, Qatari military planes flew close enough to the Emirati airliners to be seen by the crew and passengers, which constituted a threat to their safety.
Bahrain released radar tracks on Tuesday it said showed Qatari fighter jets passing by Emirati commercial airliners bound for the nation.
Bahrain state television aired radar footage it described as showing Emirates flight No. EK837 from Dubai flying towards Bahrain International Airport at 3,170 metres. Two other radar signals described as Qatari fighter jets flew at around 2,590 metres and crossed briefly in front of the Emirates plane's flight path. The screen briefly flashes orange text, likely a collision warning.
It wasn't clear from the footage at what distance the fighter jets passed the Emirates flight, but Bahrain previously described the distance as being 3.2 kilometres.
The broadcaster also aired footage of an aeronautical chart it said showed a Qatari fighter jet flying across the flight path of a just-passed Etihad airliner, both at 24,000 metres. It identified the flight as ETD23B, which corresponds to Etihad flight No. EY371, a direct Abu Dhabi-Bahrain flight that took off Monday morning.
Dubai-based Emirates and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad have declined to comment. Both flights flew in international waters just north of the tip of Qatar, a peninsular nation that juts into the Arabian Gulf, before landing in nearby Bahrain.
Meanwhile, an official source at the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Monday's interception by Qatari fighter planes of two Manama-bound UAE civilian planes, according to the Saudi Press Agency, SPA.
The agency said: "The source considered that this action constitutes a threat to the safety of civil aviation and in violation of relevant international laws and conventions, taking into consideration that the statements of the General Authority of Civil Aviation of the UAE confirmed that the flights were "regular, scheduled, with well-known route and meet the approvals and internationally recognised necessary permits."