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Qatar wins air blockade case at top UN court


AFP/The Hague

The UN's top court on Tuesday backed Qatar in the Gulf airspace blockade issue.

The Hague-based International Court of Justice unanimously "rejects the appeal" by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against a decision by the world civil aviation body in favour of Qatar over sovereign airspace, ICJ President Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf said.


The court also "holds that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has jurisdiction" in the case, by 15 judges to one, Yusuf said.


The ICAO in 2018 ruled it had the jurisdiction to handle a dispute brought by Qatar, which accused its neighbours of violating a convention that regulates the free passage of its passenger planes through foreign airspace.


But the four allies disagreed, saying the ICAO was not the right body to judge in the dispute and that its decision to do so was "manifestly flawed and in violation of fundamental principles of due process and the right to be heard." They had asked the ICJ to declare the aviation body's ruling "null and void and without effect."

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