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The ‘aeropolitics’ of the Qatar blockade present new challenges

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Since July 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have closed their airspace to Qatar Airways and Qatari-owned airlines. They claim legitimacy for this by citing Article 1 of the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation which assures the sovereign right of states under international law to take any precautionary measures against parties threatening their national security. As Qatar was accused of supporting “terrorist” groups in the region, Qatari-operated flights from Doha to these countries were banned. Other airlines, though, can fly over the blockading states on condition that permission is sought 24 hours beforehand, and the details of the crew and passengers are passed to their relevant authorities.

Qatar has been experiencing this for almost two years but seems to be coping with the challenges thanks to its wealth from its natural resources and its own citizens’ approval for its foreign policy post-blockade. An air blockade is a great challenge to any country, and it has been a tremendous economic issue for the State of Qatar because of its location relative to the three main blockading countries, Bahrain, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. However, the latest news suggests that the blockade has had a favourable economic impact on states like Iran and Turkey. This month, Qatar signed the Doha Declaration as part of the CAPA Qatar Aviation, Aeropolitical and Regulatory Summit 75 years after the Chicago Convention. Since it became the first country in the Gulf region to achieve a Comprehensive Air........

© Middle East Monitor