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Qatar WAR fear: Qataris accuse Dubai of violating airspace as tensions BOIL in Middle East

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    The UAE is one of four Arab countries that have imposed travel, diplomatic and trade sanctions on Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism – charges Qatar has denied.

    A report by Qatari state news agency QNA 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 allegedly occurred on December 21 at 9.45am local time and last for just one minute.

    The ambassador said: “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.

    ”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.”

    UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash said on his official Twitter account that Qatar’s complaint was untrue.

    “We are working on responding to that officially with proof and evidence,” he said. “We see this as an escalation and it is unjustified, and what used to happen behind the scenes is now uncovered.”

    It comes just a months after the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain abruptly cut ties with Qatar and threatened to expand their embargo on Doha if it failed to accept a long list of demands, including the closure of the Qatar-funded Al Jazeera television.

    In November, Qatar warned that the Middle East is on the verge of entering the “dark ages” as it accused its neighbours of playing a “dangerous game of power”.

    Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said: “Regional players are acting irresponsibly, taking a political gamble with the lives of other nations’ citizens with no exit strategy.

    “The world watches the news and sees images from my region which are full of drama and discord.

    “Dark periods of closed-mindedness, totalitarianism and aggression have set in.

    “The Middle East went from the centre of connectivity and enlightenment to being a chaotic region.

    “During the age of aggression, extremism has flourished.”

    Qatari foreign ministry spokeswoman HE Lulwah al-Khater said the measures taken by the quartet amount to an “economic war”.

    She stressed that while Qatar hopes the issues can be resolved through diplomatic channels and dialogue, all efforts will be made to ensure that people adversely affected by the siege get redress.

    She added that it was “impossible to describe those procedures as just a diplomatic blockade”, because they had an impact across various other aspects – humanitarian, rights-related, economic and others. 

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    “Moreover, the report described these measures, especially the economic ones, as an ‘economic war’; this is an issue that must be taken into consideration,” HE al-Khater added.

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