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CAIRO – 11 August 2017: Egypt foiled Qatari attempts to complain to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) against the measures adopted by the four Arab states (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain), which closed their airspace to Qatari transportation, an Egyptian Civil Aviation source told Egypt Today on Friday.
At the meeting of ICAO Board, Egypt foiled Qatar’s attempts of complaint, especially after Turkey tried to support Qatar’s demand. Therefore, ICAO decided to focus only on technical issues, which shows its neutrality, the sources added.
On Thursday, the Board of ICAO issued a formal statement refusing to get involved in the Gulf dispute with Qatar, stressing that it has nothing to do with such political issues.
At the recent extraordinary ICAO session held following a complaint from Qatar, the ICAO council chairman emphasized that that the organization focuses only on technical issues and avoids intervening in political matters.
In its resolutions, the council urged all member states of the ICAO to continue cooperation to enhance the safety, security, efficiency and sustainability of international civil aviation. It also appreciated the four Arab states for their spirit of cooperation during the special session.
The council also welcomed the commitment of the four Arab states to continue technical consultations under the umbrella of the ICAO to ensure the application of technical solutions, and it requested the secretariat to provide information on a regular basis, as well as to submit an updated report for consideration by the council at its next session.
To ensure safe and smooth air operations, the Arab quartet has granted the use of nine emergency routes for use by Qatari aircraft. The emergency routes are located in areas managed by the UAE and will be used to facilitate air navigation and ensure safety under the umbrella of the ICAO, which co-ordinates and oversees such agreements.
The nine routes include one over the Mediterranean that is managed by Egypt, which began operations on August 1.
Qatar’s relations with several Arab states have been strained since May 24 over a leaked statement, attributed to Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, criticizing Gulf foreign policy with Iran, describing it as “unwise”.
On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed economic sanctions, accusing it of funding terrorism – a claim Qatar rejects. They also closed their airspace and seaports to Qatari vessels.
The Arab quartet issued 13 demands to Doha – then shortened to six principles - including closing Al Jazeera television, curbing relations with Iran and shutting down a Turkish military base.