UAE dismisses airspace violation claims from Qatar

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash.
Updated 12 January 2018
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UAE dismisses airspace violation claims from Qatar

DUBAI: UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash has said on his official Twitter account that Qatar’s complaints about an alleged violation of its airspace are untrue.
Qatar has filed a complaint to the UN about the alleged violation in December by an Emirati military aircraft, it was reported on Friday by state news agency QNA.
But the UAE has dismisssed the Qatari move as unjustified and an escalation.
“We are working on responding to that officially with proof and evidence,” Gargash said, as reported by Reuters. “We see this as an escalation and (it) is unjustified, and what used to happen behind the scenes is now uncovered.”
The UAE is one of four Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt that have imposed travel, diplomatic and trade sanctions on Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. Qatar has denied the charges.
The QNA report said Qatar’s ambassador to the United Nations sent a message to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the president of the Security Council regarding the alleged violation, which Qatar claims occurred on Dec. 21 at 9:45am local time and lasted one minute.
“HE Sheikha Alia (Ahmed bin Saif Al -Than) confirmed that the UAE plane entered the airspace of the State of Qatar without prior knowledge or approval of the competent Qatari authorities,” QNA quoted the ambassador as saying.
“She 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.”


Minister’s ouster unlikely to slow Sudan’s push to get off US ‘terror’ list

Updated 20 April 2018
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Minister’s ouster unlikely to slow Sudan’s push to get off US ‘terror’ list

  • Ghandour was fired a day after he said in parliament that Sudanese diplomats abroad had not been paid in months.
  • Analysts say his sacking is not expected to derail ties between Khartoum and Washington.

Khartoum: President Omar Al-Bashir’s dismissal of Sudan’s foreign minister, Khartoum’s top negotiator with Washington, is unlikely to affect efforts to have Khartoum removed from a US “terrorism” blacklist, experts say.
On Thursday, Bashir sacked Ibrahim Ghandour, who headed negotiations with Washington that in October helped lift a decades-old US trade embargo on Khartoum.
His dismissal comes amid an economic crisis in the African country and his replacement, who has yet to be named, is set to inherit a complicated case load.
Ghandour, the first official to publicly raise concerns over Sudan’s economic crisis, was fired a day after he said in parliament that Sudanese diplomats abroad had not been paid in months.
But analysts say his sacking is not expected to derail ties between Khartoum and Washington, which have warmed since the sanctions were lifted.
“Ghandour’s loss will be felt, but his going won’t change Khartoum’s policy direction,” Magnus Taylor, Sudan analyst at the International Crisis Group, told AFP.
By dismissing Ghandour, Khartoum is not changing its “moderate” policy toward Washington, he said.
“Generally, Sudanese are focused on getting themselves out of the SSTL,” Taylor said, referring to Washington’s State Sponsors of Terrorism List.
Although Washington lifted sanctions imposed in 1997 over Khartoum’s alleged support of militant groups, it has kept Sudan on the blacklist along with Iran, Syria and North Korea.
Officials say the US terror tag prevents international banks from doing business with Khartoum, in turn hampering Sudan’s economic revival.
Ghandour had been pushing for Khartoum’s removal from the blacklist in a bid to obtain much needed foreign loans.
“He was useful for negotiations with the US because people thought they can deal with him as he was reasonable, eloquent and intelligent,” Taylor said.
“But Sudan will bring someone else who can do that kind of job.”