uae will not escalate tension with qatar
Last Updated : GMT 12:45:25
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Last Updated : GMT 12:45:25
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'UAE will not escalate tension with Qatar'

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Emiratesvoice, emirates voice 'UAE will not escalate tension with Qatar'

Military aircraft have switched to alternative routes to avoid future incidents of interception by Qatar
Dubai - Emirates Voice

The UAE will not escalate the ongoing diplomatic crisis in the best interest of the safety and security of the residents, a military official said on Tuesday.

"The UAE Armed Forces will not escalate the current crisis with Qatar. We have instructions not to escalate and commit to regional safety and security," Brigadier General Hilal Saeed Al Qubaisi from the UAE military told reporters at a news conference held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Abu Dhabi.

The press briefing was held to deny Qatar's recent allegations that UAE warplanes intercepted their aircraft and violated Qatar's air space.

"The allegations are fake and baseless," said Ahmed Al Jalla-af, assistant director general at Air Navigation Services, UAE Civil Aviation Authority. "There was no provocation or threat from the UAE side."

Al Qubaisi dismissed Qatar's allegations and said the two incidents involved a UAE fighter jet in training that crossed into the Qatar air space for a minute before coming back to its normal route over Bahrain, and a military transport aircraft that was on its regular route to Bahrain.

The UAE had accused Qatar of intercepting two of its passenger planes - Etihad and Emirates flights bound to Bahrain - on January 15. Qatar on its part, not only denied the allegation but made a counter allegation that UAE jet planes had intercepted theirs on January 2 and 5 in two separate incidents.
Al Qubaisi disclosed a series of military interceptions by Qatar on the UAE warplanes. He said Qatar fighter jets harassed UAE aircrafts twice on December 27, then on January 3 and 12, without any provocation.

The incidents involved a F-16, a Twin Otter aircraft and a C-130 cargo plane belonging to the UAE.

"On December 27 at 6.15, three fighter jets intercepted a UAE's military transport aircraft on its regular route from UAE to Bahrain and accompanied it for 25 minutes," said Al Qubaisi.

Showing supporting video footages and radar pictures, Al Qubaisi said it was clear Qatar had used an armed aircraft loaded with air-to-air weapons.

He said the UAE military aircrafts have switched to alternative routes over Saudi Arabia to avoid future incidents of interception by Qatar.

Unacceptable act on civilians
"The aircraft used for intercepting the passenger airplane was a fighter jet. We know it from the speed. The aircraft had reached 600 knots at an altitude of 8000ft," according to Al Jalla-af.

He added that Qatar is threatening the safety of UAE aircraft and the lives of civilian passengers by crossing the international air space borders that has been already agreed upon according to the Chicago Convention that dictates use of air space.

"By raising the complaint with the UN, what we are trying to ensure is the continuation of the safety and security of the civil aviation and residents. The escalation of the dangerous acts over civil aviation movements is totally unacceptable. We want these hostile acts stopped, and never repeated."

Calling it a desperate measure by Qatar, Al Qubaisi said they are under tremendous pressure - politically, economically and socially. "They want the Coalition countries to come to the table and negotiate with them. But I can say that these wrong actions will reflect badly only on Qatar. It does not affect UAE."

The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, have imposed travel, diplomatic and trade sanctions on Qatar since last June, accusing the Gulf neighbour of fanning terrorism in the region.

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