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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Qatar files UN complaint after four Bahraini fighter jets violate airspace

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Over the past two months, Manama has breached Doha’s airspace and territorial waters, posing questions on its stance on GCC reconciliation.

Qatar has filed a complaint to the United Nations [UN] regarding a December 9 breach of its airspace by four Bahraini fighter jets, the Qatari News Agency [QNA] reported on Thursday.

According to QNA, Doha’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Sheikha Alya bint Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani presented the official complaint on behalf of the Qatari government, confirming Bahraini military aircraft violated the country’s airspace.

The letter submitted before the UN and its representatives expressed Qatar’s strong condemnation of the violations, describing them as an infringement of its sovereignty, territorial integrity and security.

Qatar added that the violations are also inconsistent with international law, noting that such escalations raise tensions in the region, which have already been exacerbated by the unjust blockade on Qatar, which Manama is involved in, state news agency QNA said.

“[The letter] called on Bahrain to refrain from these provocative and irresponsible acts, and to abide by the United Nations Charter, international law, international agreements and the provisions of the International Court of Justice,” QNA reported.

Qatar also called on the UN to take necessary steps in order to put an end to ongoing Bahraini violations to ensure international and regional peace, security and stability.

Read also: Bahrain ends weeks-long silence, welcomes dialogue to end GCC rift

Bahrain’s role in promoting regional stability is still in question following several violations of Qatar’s water and air territories.

However, reports released earlier this week suggested that Manama has been pushing for negotiations with Doha to reach a maritime agreement.

According to Kuwaiti media, the potential agreement would entail sharing territorial waters that would allow fishermen from both countries to access their territorial waters “in a way that would benefit the citizens of the two countries and enhance joint Gulf cooperation”.

On Wednesday, Bahrain called for an end to the GCC crisis after weeks of silence despite current reconciliation talks.

All GCC members will be meeting on December 27 for a virtual preparatory session ahead of the 41st GCC Summit, scheduled on January 5th in Riyadh.

Commenting on the December meeting, Bahraini Minister for Foreign Affairs Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani said that his country looks forward to a successful session “that leads to strengthening the Gulf dialogue in order to achieve the desired future goals”.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt announced the illegal blockade on Qatar, severing all diplomatic relations with the Gulf country. 


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