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UAE denies it violated Qatari airspace

The UAE has denied a Qatari claim that its airspace was violated by an Emirates’ military aircraft in December.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash tweeted on Friday: “The Qatari complaint about the UAE’s violation of its airspace is untrue and confused; we are working to respond to it officially with evidence.

”We see this as an escalation and [it] is unjustified, and what used to happen behind the scenes is now uncovered,” he added.

Qatar has said it had filed a complaint with the United Nations about the alleged violation of its airspace.

The comments come amid a fresh escalation in tensions between Qatar and the UAE.

On Wednesday evening, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Shaikh Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman Al Attiyah accused the UAE of launching a media campaign against his country in 2017 as a means to build pressure to back up its demands from Doha.

Al Attiyah claimed that all major differences between Qatar the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had already been resolved through the Riyadh Agreement in 2013 and the Annex Agreement in 2014, adding that much smaller and marginal differences were resolved through bilateral discussions.

‘Two faces’

Al Attiyah said that Qatar attended the GCC-US summit in Saudi Arabia and there was no mention of any problem, and Qatar took the matter up with Saudi Arabia which offered to mediate between the two countries, he claimed.

He added that the crisis started afterwards, claiming that the alleged hacking of the Qatar News Agency (QNA) website in May was used to intensify the campaign against his country and ultimately, to sever relations.

Gargash quickly denied Al Attiyah’s claims, calling the statements “delusional”.

He accused Doha of holding contrasting positions on several issues.

“We are used to the two faces of Qatari political discourse,” he posted on his Twitter account, citing as example the fact that Doha hosted the military base that was used to bomb Iraq during the US invasion in 2003 while inciting Arabs against the bombing (in its Al Jazeera media coverage).

Qatar supported Hamas, but at the same time had warm relations with Israel and Qatar had contacts with Saudi Arabia while conspiring against then King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, he added.

Qatar sometimes claims that what is happening is caused by collective jealousy of its achievements, he said, while at other times it claims that it wants to preserve its sovereignty or that it is keen on supporting democracy, which does not exist in Qatar.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Repeated attempts at reconciliation have failed because Qatar has refused to meet the demands of the quartet. “There is no way the crisis can be resolved without Qatar changing its policy…” he said.

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