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    Qatar Denies Intercepting Emirati Passenger Plane With 86 On Board - Reports

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    On April 22, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) accused Qatar of intercepting a civilian plane with 86 passengers on board, which was forced to maneuver in order to avoid a collision with Qatari fighter jets, according to the media.

    Qatar rejected accusations that it intercepted a civilian aircraft registered in the UAE, stressing that a Qatari fighter was scrambled due to an Emirati plane violating the country's air space, state news agency QNA reported.

    READ MORE: Emirati Passenger Jet Reportedly Intercepted by Qatari Fighters

    According to the Qatari civil aviation authority, the route of the UAE military aircraft, that entered Qatari airspace, was close to that of the UAE civil aircraft. 

    "The United Arab Emirates has unfortunately been manipulating the facts to inflame and mislead the international community. The latest statement is proof of this," the Qatari authority said, commenting on the accusations leveled by the Emirates, as quoted by the media. 

    Doha's reaction comes a day after the General Directorate of Civil Aviation of the UAE reported that on Sunday at 10:50 local time (06:50 GMT) a Qatari fighter intercepted a passenger aircraft heading for Bahrain. However, the UAE statement contains no information on a military aircraft being in the sky during the incident.

    The UAE has repeatedly accused Qatar of such mid-air incidents, whereas Qatar, in turn, has blamed the UAE for violating the country's airspace and, according to local media, has already filed a complaint with the United Nations (UN). Earlier in April, the United Arab Emirates lodged an official complaint against Qatar with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) over the country's jets intercepting Emirati civilian aircraft.

    Tensions between the UAE and Qatar have been running high since summer 2017, when Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed travel and economic sanctions on it, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs. In particular, these countries closed their airspace to Qatari planes.

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    Tags:
    civilian aircraft, interception, denial, UAE, Qatar
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