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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Bahrain claims Doha ‘violated’ GCC agreement for stopping two boats breaching Qatar’s territorial waters


The blockading country’s claim comes as it continues to impose an illegal land, air and sea blockade on Doha.

Qatar’s border security stopped two Bahraini boats that breached its territorial waters, AFP reported on Wednesday.

Qatar’s interior ministry stated that its Coast Guard and Border Security department attempted to contact Bahrain’s operations room to inquire about the reported breach and were initially unable to reach them.

“The Coast Guard and Border Security department attempted to contact Bahrain’s operations room to demand why the two boats were in Qatari waters,” Qatar’s interior ministry said in a statement.

One of the captains of the Bahraini boats, which had been conducting naval exercises and were found northwest of Fasht al-Dibal, reported a mechanical difficulty and lost contact with his country, leading him to float into Qatari waters. to his appearance in the Gulf peninsula’s waters.

Upon his request, the Qatari Coast and Borders Security patrols allowed both boats to exit Doha’s waters and back into Bahrain’s territorial waters.

However, Bahrain claimed the vessels were wrongfully intercepted and accused Qatar’s patrols of allegedly violating “applicable regional and international agreements”.

Bahrain said that it would report the incident to the Gulf Cooperation Council regional bloc, of which both countries are members.

Read also: International Court of Justice dismisses appeal from blockading countries

Despite Manama’s complaint, it has imposed an illegal air, land and sea blockade on Qatar since June 2017, along with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Due to this, none of the boycotting countries permit their maritime vessels into Qatari waters as well as their aircrafts and vice versa.

For three years now, Qatar Airways has not been traveling through any of the blockading countries’ airspace, forcing the flag carrier to shift its routes.

On July 14, 2020, the International Court of Justice unanimously ruled that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has jurisdiction to rule on the air blockade by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

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