Bahrain, Saudi, UAE & Egypt files Qatar airspace dispute to UN’s top court

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt will file a complaint on a dispute with Qatar over the use of airspace to the UN’s International Court of Justice.

The four Arab countries said that the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation “was not competent to consider the dispute” after it considered two requests submitted by Qatar, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

Qatar last year raised the boycott at an ICAO meeting, claiming that the four countries were discriminating against Doha in violation of an international agreement guaranteeing overflights.

Qatar requested the ICAO resolve the conflict, using a dispute resolution mechanism in the Chicago Convention, a 1944 treaty that created the agency and set basic rules for international aviation.

“This action by the four countries to submit the case to the International Court of Justice comes in view of the decision of the ICAO council to grant Qatar the opportunity to hear its demands, which did not include the support of these demands or to call upon the four countries to take any action,” the quartet said in a statement.

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The four countries said that they are appealing to the court, while the ICAO will cease to consider Qatari claims until a ruling from the International Court of Justice is issued and “coincides with the continued exercise by the four states of their sovereign right to close the airspace to Qatari aircraft under international law”.

“It should be noted that the ruling when it is issued will determine the validity of the decision of the ICAO on enabling Qatar to submit the two complaints, and does not in any way accept the allegations of Qatar or the imposition of opening the airspace or anything else that detracts from the sovereign rights of the four countries.

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“In spite of this objection, the four states will continue their fruitful co-operation with the organisation and its member states.”

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have said they would allow Qatari planes to use air corridors in emergencies.

The four Arab countries stand firm by their decision to boycott Qatar, saying they are willing to re-establish communications with Doha only if it adheres to regional and international agreements and the demands and principles they have issued.

 

Source Credit: The National

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