Bahrain 'violated Qatar's airspace with military jets', Doha says to UN

Bahrain 'violated Qatar's airspace with military jets', Doha says to UN
Qatar sent a letter to the UN Security Council saying Bahrain violated its airspace with military jets four times.
2 min read
24 December, 2020
Sheikha Alya bint Ahmed Al Thani urged Bahrain to respect Qatar's airspace [Getty]

Bahrain violated Qatar's airspace with military aircrafts at least four times in December, Doha said in a message to the UN Security council.

Qatar's permanent representative to the UN, Sheikha Alya bint Ahmed Al Thani, sent an official notification to the president of the UNSCR and to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres saying that Bahraini military aircrafts on December 9 flew over Qatar’s airspace above Qatar’s territorial waters, according to Qatar's national news agency.

Sheikha Alya expressed strong condemnation of Manama's actions "as a violation of [Qatar's] sovereignty, territorial integrity and security," noting that these violations "are in stark contrast to the Kingdom of Bahrain's obligations under international law, and that these violations are an escalation that raises tension in the region that Bahrain contributes to."

The letter stated that "these violations are not the first by Bahraini military aircraft over the airspace of the State of Qatar."

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

Qatar also called on the UN to "take the necessary steps, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter, to put an end to these Bahraini violations in order to maintain international and regional peace, security and stability."

The Gulf state emphasised that it is keen on maintaining good neighbourly relations and exercising utmost restraint while preserving its full right to respond to any violations in line with its legitimate sovereign right.

It also stressed that Doha will “take the necessary measures to defend its borders, airspace and sea. And its national security in accordance with the provisions of international law and the United Nations Charter. "

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with and initiated an economic blockade against Qatar in June 2017, saying it was too close to Iran and funding radical Islamist movements, charges Doha denies.

Qatar's move comes as Doha and the blockading countries seek to ease tensions.

Bahrain called on Wednesday for an end to regional disputes, the latest statement suggesting a rift between Qatar and four countries could ease ahead of a Gulf summit next month.

Manama's Supreme Defence Council, led by King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, convened on Wednesday and declared a need "to end regional conflicts and disputes by peaceful means".

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – comprised of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar – will meet on January 5 in Saudi Arabia.

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