01 August 2017
Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communication of Qatar said that in the 70 years of aviation history no country was subjected to a siege and a severe violation of international laws, like the one the State of Qatar was subjected to by the blockading countries.
In a speech made to the ICAO’s executive council in Montreal on Monday, he added that the siege countries placed themselves above the international, human, and divine laws without making any consideration to flight safety and put the lives of people in severe danger.
The minister stressed that the lack of accountability could lead to grave violations of safety and the rights to passage in the future.
He stressed that the siege countries interpreted the law in illogical manners that did not give any attention to flight safety, leading to severe humanitarian impact. He noted that the successive notices to airmen (NOTAM) and arbitrary measures of the siege countries “ignored all agreements and conventions”, it also “subjected the lives of passengers to danger and put flight safety at risk.”
Al-Sulaiti noted that due to these procedures that violated international agreements, civil aviation authorities in the UAE prevented airplanes going to and leaving from the State of Qatar from passing through the UAE’s Flight Information Region (FIR).
While Bahrain violated its agreements and practically annulled one signed with Qatar, acting unilaterally by prohibiting the use of air fields it does not actually have a right to control. The siege countries also issued a NOTAM for Yemen and activated it immediately, before retracting it less than two hours later. It also encouraged other countries to close their own air fields.
The minister said that Qatar was ready to sit with the siege countries to discuss all issues in that field, starting now and under the supervision of ICAO.
He also highlighted the request made by Qatar to ICAO to manage its own FIR, in accordance to the highest professional and safety standards, and added that Qatar is well-equipped to carry out that task in the view of everyone.
He also called on the siege countries and the international community to remain objective and comply with the principles of international law, and not to distort those laws in order to benefit narrow interests. “Doing so will lead to a world ruled by the law of the jungle,” the minister said.
Al-Sulaiti also praised the efforts of ICAO in resolving the differences, and said that those efforts have great importance not just for Qatar but for the entire world. They also have great implication for flight safety and for the international aviation’s legislative environment and its solidity, the minister added.