Authorities in Qatar have denied that Qatari fighter jets intercepted an Emirati aircraft, after United Arab Emirates said that one of its civilian jets was accompanied by war planes en route to Bahrain.
Qatar’s foreign ministry released a statement on Monday saying the claim was false.
The State of #Qatar announces that the claims of Qatari fighter-planes intercepting a UAE civil aircraft is completely false. A detailed statement will follow.
— لولوة راشد الخاطر (@Lolwah_Alkhater) January 15, 2018
UAE’s state news agency WAM quoted the country’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) as saying on Monday that “it had received a complaint from one of the UAE’s national carriers that one of its aircraft on a flight to Manama on a normal route had been intercepted by Qatari fighters”.
GCAA described the act as a flagrant and dangerous threat to the safety of civil aviation, without offering details on the flight path and the name of the carrier.
The UAE condemned the alleged incident and said it would take all necessary legal measures to ensure the security of civilian air traffic.
On Saturday Qatar complained to the United Nations Security Council that UAE fighter jets violated its airspace on at least two occasions in recent weeks.
Qatar’s UN envoy said Doha would take all necessary measures required to defend its borders, airspace and national security in order to preserve its legitimate sovereign right in accordance with international laws.
The developments come amid a blockade against Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, which has been in place since June 2017.
The group severed all diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting “terrorism”.
Qatar has strongly denied the accusations, and is seeking international arbitration in an attempt to end the blockade.