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Qatar protests to UN over Bahraini fighter jets violation of airspace

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The permanent representative of Qatar to the United Nations, Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani (Photo by The Peninsula newspaper)

Qatar has protested to the United Nations Security Council and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres over violation of its airspace by four Bahraini fighter jets earlier this month.

The permanent representative of Qatar to the United Nations, Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani, in two identical letters addressed to the rotating President of the Security Council Jerry Matthews Matjila and Guterres, said that Bahrain's military aircraft had penetrated Qatar’s airspace over its territorial waters on December 9.

The diplomat said Qatar perceives the move as a violation of the country’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and security, adding that these violations were blatantly inconsistent with Bahrain’s obligations under international law.

She also said that such a move was considered an escalation that further raises tensions in the region, which Manama has already contributed to through participation in an unjust blockade as well as unlawful and unjustified actions against Doha.

The diplomat also noted that the incident was not the first of its kind as Bahraini warplanes have frequently violated the Qatari airspace, arguing that the recurrence of such incidents indicates Bahrain’s intolerable disregard for international obligations.

“The State of Qatar, therefore, appeals to the United Nations to take necessary steps in accordance with the provisions of its Charter, and put an end to such Bahraini violations in order to maintain international and regional peace, security and stability,” Al Thani pointed out.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, 2017, after the quartet officially accused Doha of meddling in regional affairs and supporting terrorism.

Qatar's Foreign Ministry condemned the decision as unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions.

The four Arab countries also imposed an air, land and sea blockade on Qatar.

On June 9, 2017, Saudi Arabia and its allies issued a 13-point list of demands, including the closure of al-Jazeera television news network and downgrade of relations with Iran, in return for the reconciliation.

Qatar rebuffed the demands as "unreasonable."

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