Step by step the arguments by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates to justify their air blockade against Qatar are being dismantled, and Qatar’s position vindicated. These are the words by Qatar’s Transport Minister Jassim Saif Ahmed Al-Sulaiti in response to a judgment rendered by the International Court of Justice in The Netherlands today.
In June of 2018, Qatar was threatened by its neighbors Bahrain, Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia to be turned into an island.
Today, in a major victory for Qatar, the International Court of Justice in the Hague has ruled on July 14 that the UN’s aviation watchdog has the right to hear a complaint over an “illegal” blockade imposed on Qatar for over 3 years by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.
In June 2017, the Saudi-led bloc severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing the incredibly wealthy but small country of sponsoring international terrorism and acting in support of Iran – a major regional enemy of Saudi Arabia. Borders were immediately shut and Qatari nationals expelled from the blockading countries in the as yet to be resolved dispute.
The only commercial airline in Qatar is the government-owned Qatar Airways which immediately had to start diverting its aircraft around the air spaces of the blockading nations. The airline also had 4 otherwise mature markets immediately destroyed.