UN top court asked to resolve Qatar airspace dispute

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The anti-terror quartet of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia jointly filed appeals on Saturday with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in respect of the decisions of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) issued last week, following claims lodged by Qatar with ICAO.

Bahrain News Agency (BNA) quoted Sheikh Fawaz Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Non-resident Ambassador to the Netherlands, as saying that the Four States agree that ICAO does not have the jurisdiction to look into such claims, since the dispute is unrelated to civil aviation or the civil aviation safety.

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He added that the four States disagree with the decisions of the ICAO Council, which are, moreover, procedurally irregular, and have asked the ICJ to set them aside.

The three countries now want the Hague-based court to nullify the ICAO’s ruling, saying its decision was “manifestly flawed and in violation of fundamental principles of due process and the right to be heard.”

“The ICAO council is not competent to adjudicate” the countries said in papers filed before the ICJ.

They sought a declaration that the ICAO’s decision is “null and void and without effect.”

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Thursday’s filing is the latest salvo in the increasingly intense standoff between Doha and its Gulf neighbours which erupted a year ago.

Then Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and other allies severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of backing terrorism and Iran and imposed wide-ranging punitive measures including banning Qatari planes from their airspace.

The final decision on these matters will be made by the ICJ which could still take a few weeks or even months. Pending the ICJ’s decision, the ICAO proceedings are suspended.


Source Credit: Gulf News


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