Qatar wins ICJ case against Saudi Arabia-led states
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has backed Qatar in a dispute with four regional states that imposed a blockade against the country.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, 2017, accusing Doha of meddling in regional affairs and supporting “terrorism.”
Qatar has rejected the allegations and said it was targeted because it followed an independent foreign policy.
The four countries also banned all Qatari planes from their airspaces.
On Tuesday, the president of The Hague-based ICJ, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, said that the court unanimously “rejects the appeal” by the four countries against a decision by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in favor of Qatar over sovereign airspace.
Yusuf also said that the court had decided that ICAO “has jurisdiction” in the case by 15 judges to one.
Back in 2018, the world civil aviation body ruled that it had sufficient authority to handle a complaint by Doha, which accused the four countries of violating a convention that regulates the free passage of its passenger planes through foreign airspace.
However, the four blockading countries disputed ICAO’s jurisdiction over the issue, alleging that its decision was “flawed.” Furthermore, they asked the ICJ to reject ICAO’s ruling as “null and void and without effect.”
Separately on Tuesday, Doha welcomed the ICJ’s ruling, saying that the four blockading countries would “face justice.”
“We welcome today’s decision by the ICJ that will see the blockading states finally face justice for violating international aviation rules,” Qatari Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Saif Ahmed al-Sulaiti said in a statement, shortly after the court ruling.