UAE accuses Qatar of ‘intercepting’ 2 passenger planes

The United Arab Emirates accused neighbouring Qatar of “intercepting” two Emirati passenger planes en route to Bahrain on Monday in the latest incident between the Gulf rivals.Qatar denied the allegations as “totally baseless” and hit back that they came “one day after a C-130 UAE military aircraft breached Qatari airspace”.Tensions have escalated in the Gulf since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut all ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of supporting Islamist extremists and being too close to Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival, Iran.They have banned all flights to and from Doha and cut off most trade links.Qatar denies the allegations, arguing the bloc aims to incite regime change in Doha.The UAE Civil Aviation Authority said it “received a message from a national carrier on Monday morning that an aircraft on a routine flight to Manama was intercepted by Qatari fighter jets”.The authority said it was “a flagrant and serious threat to the safety of civil aviation and a clear violation of international law”.”This is a routine flight that has all the required paperwork,” it said in a statement to the state news agency.The UAE authority later said a second Emirati passenger plane bound for Bahrain was also intercepted by Qatari fighter jets.It said the second plane was intercepted “during its descent towards Bahrain International Airport”, adding that it was also on a routine pre-scheduled flight.The foreign ministry in Bahrain denounced the “unacceptable aggressive attitude” of Qatar.Four UAE-based airlines — Emirates, Etihad, flydubai and Air Arabia –… [Read full story]

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