UAE civil aviation authority says Qatari fighter jets intercepted civilian plane Sunday

Sunday’s incident is not the first time the UAE has accused Qatar’s military of intercepting its civilian aircraft. (AFP)
Updated 23 April 2018
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UAE civil aviation authority says Qatari fighter jets intercepted civilian plane Sunday

  • The UAE civil aviation authority says fighter jets flew “dangerously close” to a UAE civilian jet
  • Authorities say threatening the safety and well-being of civilian travelers in any way is a “completely unacceptable act”

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates said on Sunday that Qatari fighter planes had intercepted a civilian aircraft carrying 86 passengers aboard a flight bound for Bahrain, UAE state news agency WAM reported.
According to the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, GCAA, the civilian aircraft was on a scheduled flight “after obtaining all the necessary approvals as per the international regulations, procedures and agreements.”

In a statement issued through WAM, the GCAA said the Qatari fighter jets flew “very close” to the Emirati aircraft, less than 700 feet, “leaving just a few seconds for the captain to maneuver his way away to avoid being hit, thus jeopardizing the safety of travelers onboard."

The GCAA has further stated that threatening the safety and well-being of civilian travelers in any way is a “completely unacceptable act,” and it will file a case with the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, against this aggression.

The airliner involved has not been identified.

 

 
“Qatari jets chased the UAE passenger plane and came close to it leaving just seconds before collision... a very dangerous and unsafe approach which endangered the lives of passengers,” the authority said in a statement cited by news agency WAM.

Bahrain’s civil aviation agency said in a statement cited by news agency NBA that the Airbus 320 was travelling from Dammam in eastern Saudi Arabia to UAE capital Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi’s airport is the main hub for Etihad Airways – however neither Etihad nor Emirates airlines were prepared to comment.

Sunday’s incident is not the first time the UAE has accused Qatar’s military of intercepting its civilian aircraft.

In January this year two Qatari jets flew dangerously close to two civilian aircraft traveling from the UAE while they were in Bahraini airspace, the Emirates civil aviation authority.

According to state news agency WAM the General Civil Aviation Authority condemned “provocative action,” at the time, which it said followed two similar incidents that had been reported by the UAE to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations’ aviation agency.

Qatar denied the claim in a statement by its civil aviation authority saying the UAE was trying to cover up for its own violations of Qatari airspace.

(With Reuters and AFP)

FASTFACTS

The dispute

Qatar - under boycott by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt over alleged support for Islamist extremist groups and ties with Iran - is banned from using its rivals' airspace.


Iran will sell oil, break US sanctions, President Rouhani says

Updated 05 November 2018
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Iran will sell oil, break US sanctions, President Rouhani says

  • US reimposed sanctions on Monday, but Iran pledges to defy them
  • Monday's actions mark an end to the 2015 nuclear deal reached under President Obama

DUBAI: Iran will sell its oil and break sanctions reimposed by the United States on its vital energy and banking sectors, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told economists at a meeting broadcast live on state television on Monday.

“America wanted to cut to zero Iran’s oil sales ... but we will continue to sell our oil ... to break sanctions,” Rouhani said.

In May, US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed a first round of sanctions on Iran in August.

The deal saw most international financial and economic sanctions on Iran lifted in return for Tehran curbing its disputed nuclear activity under UN surveillance.