Air blockade: ICAO yet to intervene
June 17 2017 09:47 PM
Qatar has asked the ICAO to resolve the conflict, using a dispute resolution mechanism in the Chicago Convention


Efforts to reopen the airspace of some Arab countries to Qatar were left unresolved on Friday, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Two days of technical talks involved transport ministers and aviation officials from several Gulf states and Egypt, along with senior officials from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a specialised agency of the UN that supports the development of global aviation.
ICAO cannot impose rules on states, but regulators from its 191 member-countries almost always adopt and enforce the standards it sets for international aviation.
Qatar had asked the ICAO to intervene after its national carrier was denied access to its neighbours' airspace as part of economic sanctions. It was the first high-level gathering of countries involved in the Gulf crisis, but there were no direct talks between Qatar and its neighbours.
While the air dispute might come up at a scheduled meeting of ICAO's governing council next week, no decision on the Gulf airspace dispute is imminent, one of the sources said.
"Nobody was expecting a resolution this week," the source added.
Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are private.
Neither Qatar's ambassador to Canada, who led his country's delegation for the talks, nor a member of the Saudi delegation could be reached for comment. ICAO had no immediate comment.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have severed diplomatic relations with Qatar.
In Montreal, Saudi transport minister Suleiman al-Hamdan had argued that the row is a bigger political issue than airspace rights and could not be resolved by ICAO, Reuters reported on Thursday.
Qatar has asked the ICAO to resolve the conflict, using a dispute resolution mechanism in the Chicago Convention, a 1944 treaty that created the agency and set basic rules for international aviation.
Article 84 says that if two states cannot resolve a dispute related to the convention through negotiation, one can ask the council to settle it.

Last updated: June 17 2017 09:52 PM

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