Arab Quartet escalates sovereign airspace issue to ICJ instead of ICAO
In a joint statement for the four countries, it was stated that their decision came as a result of the ICAO latest acceptance of Qatari claims and demands against them without explaining the reason or giving the Arab Quartet the chance the take the appropriate procedures as a response.
The statement also added that ICAO's acceptance of the Qatari demands is considered to be an exemption; accordingly, the four countries made a decision to refer the case to the International Court of Justice to object to the ICAO's decision.
CAIRO - 5 June 2018: One year ago, Qatar has been hit by its biggest diplomatic crisis after multiple Arab nations, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilizing the region with its support for Islamist groups.
According to the quartet's statement, the real issue with Qatar is related to Doha’s constant violation of the four countries' sovereignty; "which turns the conflict between them into a political dispute more than anything else; however, the ICAO's latest decision was seen as a biased step."
The four countries affirmed that they will continue their cooperation with the ICAO despite their latest decision to withdraw their case against Qatar from the organization.
In August 2017, the ICAO approved a working paper of the four Arab states cutting ties with Qatar, allowing Qatari planes to use air corridors in emergencies.
During an extraordinary session held by the ICAO after a Qatari complaint supported with Article number 54 of Convention on International Civil Aviation singed in 1944, which stipulates that the member countries can discuss any issue related to the agreement of aviation. The agreement was signed by 52 countries.
In the compliant, Qatar requested the ICAO to mediate and launch negotiations with the four Arab states that closed their airspaces to Qatari flights.
The joint working paper that was praised by the member countries included opening nine additional airways to relieve pressure on existing routes over international waters; these actions were taken in collaboration with the ICAO- associated with the United Nations (UN) - regional office in Cairo, to enhance air safety over international waters in the Middle East.
The head of the ICAO confirmed that the approval came based on technical reasons, not political ones.
The ICAO's approval came following the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announcement on Sunday, to allocate emergency air corridors in the four Arab states for the passage of Qatari flights, in cases of closure of regional airspaces.
On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have suspended diplomatic ties with Qatar, due to supporting terrorism. Flights between the four countries and Qatar were also suspended.
CAIRO - 5 June 2018: The diplomatic crisis between Qatar and the Arab Quartet enters its second year on June 5. Several countries, particularly Kuwait, have sought to mediate the crisis and prevent any escalation in the regional tensions.