Four Arab states to open nine emergency routes for Qatari planes

The emergency routes will be opened on August 1



The civil aviation authorities in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain have announced plans to open nine emergency routes for use by the Qatari planes, official news agency WAM reported on Sunday.

The move is being undertaken in co-ordination with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the report said.

The four countries cut all ties and closed all borders with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

All Qatari airplanes are also currently banned from flying over Saudi and UAE airspace.

However, a source at the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) confirmed to WAM that the emergency routes will be opened on August 1.

The agreed emergency routes are located in the overseas areas managed by the UAE, the report said.

“The nine granted routes include one over the Mediterranean. It is managed by Egypt and will begin operations on August 1. A Notice to Airmen, NOTAM, has already been issued for this route and for the other agreed routes over the Arabian Gulf,” the source said.

The opened routes will be used to facilitate air navigation operations and fall under the ambit of the ICAO, which co-ordinates and oversees such agreements, the report added.

“Such a step confirms our commitment to the safety of regional and international air navigation, given that it is a standard practice in similar circumstances,” the source added.

The latest move comes after the foreign ministers of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE met in Manama to discuss the crisis on Sunday.

“The four countries are ready for dialogue with Qatar with the condition that it announces its sincere willingness to stop funding terrorism and extremism and its commitment to not interfere in other countries’ foreign affairs and respond to the 13 demands,” Bahrain’s foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, told a news conference after the meeting.

No new economic sanctions were announced on Doha.

Read more: Saudi, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain say ready for Qatar dialogue with conditions

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