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The New Arab

Qatar contacts UN chief to brief him on blockade, files ICAO complaint over aviation threats

The blockade of Qatar has rallied its people around its leader Sheikh Tamim [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 20 August, 2017

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Qatar on Saturday took further action with international organizations over the Saudi-led blockade, sending a letter to the UN chief and filing a complaint over threats to down civilian airliners.
Qatar on Saturday took further action with international organizations over the Saudi-led blockade, sending a letter to the UN chief and filing a complaint with an international aviation body over threats to down Qatari civilian airliners.

The country's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani sent the letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday containing an update on the Gulf crisis.

It was delivered by Qatar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani, according to the Qatar News Agency, which did not reveal further drails.

On the same day, Qatar filed a complaint before the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), against what it said were attempts to "terrorise" travellers who are flying on its national flag carrier.

This follows international uproar after a Saudi-owned television network carried a video simulation showing Saudi warplanes shooting down Qatar Airways passenger aircraft in Saudi airspace.

In a letter sent to the Montreal-based United Nations agency on Saturday, Doha said the Saudi-led group that has imposed a blockade on Qatar has violated international law.

The report aired by the Dubai-based Saudi channel Al Arabiya TV "constitutes a clear and serious violation of international treaties and conventions, particularly the 1944 Chicago Convention, the international air traffic service agreement and international air law", the letter said.

An ongoing blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt on June 5 included a ban on Qatar using the bloc's ports and airspace.

The air traffic restrictions have caused headaches for the 2.4 million residents of Qatar, 90 percent of whom are foreigners, as flights were forced to take longer routes, for example, to Southeast Asia.

The blockade was imposed on the back of allegations Qatar supports terrorism, accusations Doha denies vehemently and says are a political ploy meant to pressure it to adopt the blockading countries' foreign policy dictates.

Qatar has argued that the blockade is unlawful and inhumane, and has filed complaints with international human rights organizations and the WTO against the Saudi-led camp.

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