Qatar has lodged a complaint with the United Nations about what it calls a violation of its airspace last month by a United Arab Emirates (UAE) fighter jet, warning that Doha reserves the right to defend its skies and borders under international law.
The Qatar News Agency (QNA) said Friday that the country’s UN envoy, Sheikha Alia Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani, sent a message to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council’s president regarding the reported violation, which it said occurred on December 21 at 9:45 a.m. local time and lasted one minute.
She “confirmed that the UAE plane entered the airspace of the State of Qatar without the prior knowledge or approval of the competent Qatari authorities,” the QNA quoted the ambassador as saying.
The envoy “considered that the incident was a flagrant violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State of Qatar, as well as a flagrant violation of the provisions of international law, conventions, charters and international norms.”
The senior diplomat said her country is “keen to main good relations with its neighbors,” but does not accept any breach of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“In the event of a repeat of such violation, the State of Qatar will take, in order to preserve its legitimate sovereign right, all necessary measures to defend its borders and airspace and national security, in accordance with international laws and regulations,” the envoy warned.
UAE officials were not immediately available to comment on the report.
The United Arab Emirates is one of four Arab countries, which also include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, that imposed in June a trade and diplomatic embargo on Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, an allegation strongly denied by Doha.
The quartet of boycotters have also barred Qatari aircraft from using their airspace. Qatar’s only land border with Saudi Arabia has also been blocked as a result.
The Saudi-led bloc then presented Qatar with a list of demands, among them downgrading ties with Iran, and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face consequences.
Doha, however, refused to meet the demands and said that they were meant to force the country to surrender its sovereignty. Qatar has also said it had too many financial resources at its disposal to be afraid of the financial assault.
Amid the diplomatic crisis, Abu Dhabi has taken an especially tough line towards Doha.
The Qatari former deputy prime minister, Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, told the Spanish daily ABC last October that the UAE planned a military invasion of Qatar with thousands of US-trained mercenaries, but it failed to secure the support of Washington.
A series of leaked documents revealed in November 2017 that the UAE had a stunning detailed plot to launch an economic war on Qatar.
Dubai security chief Dhahi Khalfan also once called on the Saudi-led coalition involved in a deadly military campaign against Yemen to bomb the Qatari media network Al Jazeera.
Source: Press TV