The United Arab Emirates (UAE) alleges that Qatar has intercepted two Emirati passenger aircraft en route to Bahrain, but Doha rejects the accusation amid a growing row over purported airspace violations.
The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority alleged in a statement on Monday that in the morning it had “received a message from a national carrier … that an aircraft on a routine flight to Manama was intercepted by Qatari fighter jets in a flagrant and serious threat to the safety of civil aviation and a clear violation of international law.”
It added that the flight had all the necessary paperwork, denouncing the purported incident. The authority also asserted that it would take “all necessary legal measures to ensure the safety and security of civil air traffic.”
The authority later claimed that a second Emirati passenger aircraft bound for Bahrain was also intercepted by Qatari warplanes.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Saif Bin Ahmed al-Thani, the director of Qatar’s government communications office, said on his official Twitter account that the allegation was “completely untrue.”
Furthermore, Lulwa al-Khater, a spokeswoman for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry also denied the charges. “The state of Qatar announces that the claims of Qatari fighter planes intercepting a UAE civil aircraft [are] completely false,” she tweeted.
On Friday, Qatar lodged a complaint with the U.N. about an alleged violation of its airspace on Dec. 21 by an Emirati military aircraft. Moreover, Doha, also alleged on Saturday that a second Emirati warplane violated Qatari airspace as it was traveling from the UAE to Bahrain on Jan. 3, “without prior authorization.”