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Bahrain rejects Qatar's claim of airspace violation

A US Airforce (USAF) F-16 fighter jet seen in the background of a Royal Bahraini Air Force helicopter, during the 2018 Bahrain International Airshow at the Sakhir Airbase, Bahrain on November 14 2018 [STR/AFP via Getty Images]
A US Airforce (USAF) F-16 fighter jet seen in the background of a Royal Bahraini Air Force helicopter, during the 2018 Bahrain International Airshow at the Sakhir Airbase, Bahrain on November 14 2018 [STR/AFP via Getty Images]

Bahrain on Thursday rejected a letter sent by Qatar to the UN Security Council on an alleged violation of its airspace by four Bahraini fighter jets, reported Anadolu Agency.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain affirms that the Qatari authorities' claim that four fighters from the Royal Bahraini Air Force violated their airspace on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, is irresponsible and baseless," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said that on that date, two F-16 aircraft of Bahrain together with two more from the US were on a military drill in the designated military exercise area in Saudi Arabia's airspace.

It said that after the exercises ended, the planes headed back to Bahrain, crossing the airspace of Saudi Arabia, to land at Isa Air Base.

"The ministry affirms that this is the usual exit route from the military drill area towards the airspace of the Kingdom of Bahrain and that on their way back, the aircraft have not used the Qatari airspace as the Royal Bahraini Air Force fighters always perform their sorties in a professional manner, making sure not to penetrate the borders of other countries," it noted.

Qatari authorities have yet to respond to the Foreign Ministry's statement.

Read: Qatar informs UN Security Council that Bahrain fighter jets violated its airspace

Qatar conveyed in its letter to the UN body that: "The recurrence of these incidents indicates Bahrain's disregard for international obligations in a way that cannot be tolerated."

Doha called on the Bahraini authorities to refrain from repeating these provocative and irresponsible acts and abide by the UN Charter, international law, the international agreements and the rulings of the International Court of Justice.

Qatar also called on the UN to take the necessary procedures to put an end to these violations in order to maintain international and regional peace, security and stability, according to the same letter.

Since 5 June, 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt have imposed a land, air and maritime blockade on Qatar, allegedly for its support of terrorism and relations with Iran. Doha denies these accusations, considering them: "An attempt to undermine the country's sovereignty and independent decision."

Read: The hacking of Al Jazeera journalists' phones should be of great concern to Qatar 

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