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UAE releases Qatari military vessel it claims entered its waters

Emirati foreign ministry says boat carrying four military personnel, including two Qataris, was seized last week
The UAE says its forces, pictured, seized the Qatari vessel when it entered Emirati waters (AFP)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) says it has released a Qatari military vessel which it seized last week after it said the boat crossed into Emirati waters.

"The UAE released a Qatari naval vessel with four people on board," the foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday. 

The ministry said the Qatari-flagged ship entered UAE waters on 30 April and was carrying four military personnel, two Qataris, one Palestinian and an Indian.

The incident occured nearly two years into a land, marine and air blockade which the UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, imposed on Qatar in June 2017.

The nations accuse Doha of backing terrorist groups, seeking closer ties with regional rival Iran and meddling in their internal affairs.

Doha has repeatedly denied the charges and accused its former allies of seeking regime change.

Despite several international reconciliation efforts, and calls by the US administration on all parties to end the diplomatic spat, the blockade remains in place.

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