Riyadh, Dammam- The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council has rejected a complaint by Qatar, made in accordance to Article 54 (N) of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago 1944), over measures adopted by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.
The Council secretariat presented a working paper supporting a technical report submitted by the four countries that proved the safety of the air according to the contingency plan, which was activated in accordance with Annex 11 of the Chicago Convention.
A joint working paper submitted by the quartet boycotting Qatar detailed measures taken in cooperation with the ICAO Regional Office in Cairo to promote safety over international waters in the Middle East region, which features the opening of nine additional air routes to relieve the pressure on current routes over international waters.
Meanwhile, Qatar took escalatory actions on Monday by filing a wide-ranging legal complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to challenge a trade boycott by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates, the director of Qatar’s WTO office Ali Alwaleed Al Thani told Reuters.
Reuters noted that by formally “requesting consultations” with the three countries, the first step in a trade dispute, Qatar triggered a 60-day deadline for them to settle the complaint or face litigation at the WTO and potential retaliatory trade sanctions.
The Arab Peninsula has also accused Saudi Arabia on Monday of stopping its citizens from attending the Hajj pilgrimage this month.
In a statement, the Qatari Islamic Affairs Ministry said the Saudi side had “refused to communicate regarding securing the pilgrims safety and facilitating their Hajj”, a claim that is strongly rejected by Saudi Arabia, which has reiterated on several occasions that it welcomes all Muslim pilgrims wishing to visit holy sites.
On the other hand, Iran’s official news agency published a report on Sunday, showing the good reception of the first Iranian pilgrims who arrived to Medina.
The report added that Saudi Hajj officials and members of the Hajj mission have welcomed the Iranian pilgrims, and offered them bouquets of flowers and dates baskets upon their arrival.
On a different note, Kuwait said it was maintaining its mediation efforts aiming to contain the Gulf crisis “amongst brothers,” Deputy Foreign Ministers Khaled Al-Jarallah stressed on Sunday.
“We are pinning big hopes on efforts by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in this matter,” he said in a remark to reporters.