Qatar intercepting civilian flights: UAE

ANI | Updated: Jan 16, 2018 04:03 IST

Dubai [UAE], Jan 16 (ANI): The United Arab Emirates on Monday claimed that Qatari fighter jets had twice intercepted civilian passenger planes en route to Bahrain in a "clear violation of international law."

"Qatari fighter jets intercepted an Emirati civilian aircraft during a routine flight to Manama in a flagrant threat to civil aviation safety and in a clear violation of international law," the General Civil Aviation Authority Director said in a statement published by the state news agency WAM.

The local media reports quoted the UAE GCAA Director-General Saif Al-Suwaidi, as saying, "Two commercial airliners that were intercepted by Qatari fighter jets were regular and scheduled flights with a well-known track, which meet the necessary approvals and internationally recognised permits."

He said incidents of sudden interception of a civil aircraft by a fighter jet could threaten the safety of the passengers and crew.

"The two planes arrived safely to Bahrain and returned to the UAE," Al-Suwaidi confirmed.

Earlier on Monday, Qatar denied its fighter jets intercepted the passenger planes of UAE.

Qatar's foreign ministry released a statement, saying the UAE's claim was false.

"The State of #Qatar announces that the claims of Qatari fighter-planes intercepting a UAE civil aircraft are completely false. A detailed statement will follow," Lolwah Rashid Alkhater, Spokesperson for Qatar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote on Twitter.

The incident has come at a time when Qatar, since mid-2017, has been facing a diplomatic and economic blockade by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, over accusations of supporting "terrorism".(ANI)