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UAE accuses Qatar of intercepting two civilian planes

Doha has denied similar claims in the past and accused UAE of violating its airspace
The UAE has banned Qatari aircraft from using its airspace (AFP)

The UAE’s civil aviation authority said on Monday that two Qatari fighter jets flew dangerously close to two Emirati civilian aircraft while they were in Bahraini air space on Monday.

State news agency WAM said the General Civil Aviation Authority had condemned the "provocative action," which it said followed two similar incidents that had been reported by the UAE to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

In January, the UAE said that Qatari jets intercepted two commercial planes headed to Bahrain. Doha denied the claims as “completely false”.

Qatar has argued that Abu Dhabi is fabricating such accounts to cover up its own violation of Qatari airspace.

Doha had lodged a complaint to the UN earlier in 2018 about the alleged UAE breach.

Alya al-Thani, Qatar's ambassador to the UN, said in a statement in January that a UAE jet entered Qatari airspace without prior knowledge, calling the incident a "flagrant violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State of Qatar, as well as a flagrant violation of the provisions of international law, conventions, charters and international norms".

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The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, imposed travel, diplomatic and trade sanctions on Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of supporting militants.

Qatar denies the charge and has accused the four countries of trying to make it conform to their foreign policy positions.

The UAE has banned Qatari aircraft from using its airspace as part of the blockade. Qatar has not reciprocated.

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