Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) – The United Arab Emirates said on Monday that Qatari warplanes intercepted two of its commercial aircraft in international airspace on the way to Bahrain, allegations promptly denied by a Doha official .
The two main airlines of the UAE refused to comment.
The claim could further intensify tensions between Qatar and the four Arab nations that have boycotted it for months, including the United Arab Emirates, home to the world's busiest international airport. It also follows two complaints from Qatar to the United Nations about Emirati military aircraft allegedly violating its international airspace in the midst of the diplomatic crisis.
The UAE state news agency WAM made the claim on Monday, citing the country's General Civil Aviation Authority.
"The GCAA received a message from one of the national carriers of the United Arab Emirates on Monday morning that one of its planes on a flight to Manama on a normal route had been intercepted by fighters from Qatar," he said. The report. "The flight was a scheduled and scheduled service on a known flight route that met all the required and internationally recognized approvals and permits."
WAM said later on Monday that a second flight to Bahrain was "intercepted" in a similar manner.
WAM did not identify the aircraft involved, nor did it disclose the details of the alleged encounters. The GCAA did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press.
Saif Al Thani, a spokesman for the Qatari government, denied the United Arab Emirates' statement on Twitter, calling it "completely false." He promised that a detailed statement would arrive later on Monday.
The United Arab Emirates is home to two major national carriers, Etihad based in Abu Dhabi and Emirates based in Dubai. Both airlines declined to comment when they were reached by the AP.
U.S. The Central Command of the Air Force, which is based at al-Udeid air base in Qatar, also did not receive any reports of an incident involving a commercial aircraft in the region, said Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, spokesman for the Air Force. . However, Pickart warned that US forces do not routinely monitor the flights and operations of Qatar's air force.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain also issued a statement saying that it "strongly condemns" Qatar for the alleged encounter.
Qatar Stock Exchange The Qatar crisis began on June 5 with Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cutting off Doha's land, sea and air routes on Monday. his alleged support for extremists and close ties with Iran.
Qatar has long denied funding for extremists. It recently restored full diplomatic relations with Iran, with which it shares a huge offshore natural gas field that made the country and its nearly 250,000 extremely wealthy citizens.
The crisis has hurt Qatar Airways, a long-distance operator in Doha that competes with Emirates and Etihad.
Qatar had complained to the International Civil Aviation Organization, based in Montreal, about the boycott of nations that cut their air routes, forcing the airline to take longer flights through Iran and Turkey. Its regional flights have also been cut off in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Recently, Qatar accused the Emirati military jets of having violated its airspace in December and January in two incidents and filed a complaint with the United Nations.
On Sunday night, a former member of the Qatari ruling family promoted by Saudi Arabia in his current dispute with Doha appeared in an online video claiming that he is being held against his will in the United Arab Emirates, an accusation denied by Abu Dhabi.
The video of Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani, a little known member of the ruling family until the crisis in Qatar, also offered new fuel for the stale dispute. He also recalled the strange and now reverted resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri during a trip to Riyadh, a November 4 decision that was widely perceived as orchestrated by the Saudis at that time.
The emir ruler of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, traveled to Ankara on Monday to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkish officials said Erdogan and Al Thani would talk about bilateral relations and regional affairs. It was not clear if the talks would touch the current crisis.
Associated Press writer Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, contributed to this report.
Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www .twitter.com/jongambrellap. His work can be found at https://apne.ws/2galNpz.