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Qatar asks United Nations agency to resolve Gulf airspace row

Qatar asks United Nations agency to resolve Gulf airspace row

Qatar said Monday, June 12, 2017, that it had begun shipping cargo through Oman to bypass Gulf countries that have cut off sea and land routes to the tiny, energy-rich nation, the latest move by Doha to show it can survive a diplomatic dispute with its neighbors.

He appealed to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations agency which administers the Chicago convention that guarantees civil overflights.

As part of Qatar's efforts to de-escalate the tension, Qatari delegation today held talks with the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, only a day after Saudi officials paid visit a to Addis Ababa on partly the same mission.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt this month announced they had suspended ties with Qatar over the emirate's alleged support for extremists, banning all flights to and from the capital Doha and shutting down the offices of the country's national carrier.

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The discussion also included telephonic conversations between US President Donald Trump, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and French President Emmanuel Macron.

"(The U.S.) should be the leader trying to break this blockade and not sitting and watching what's going on and putting fuel on (the) fire", he said.

Qatar Airways has been hit hard by the dispute, with 18 destinations now out of bounds for the airline.

Qatar has been ejected from the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthis in Yemen, and transport links between it and three other Gulf countries have been severed, with Qataris living in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE ordered to leave.

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Qatar denies it has backed extremist groups and says the allegations are based on fabricated news and politically motivated. As part of the measures against Qatar, Al-Jazeera has also been blocked in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.

"We have legal channels to object to this", Al Baker said. "We were sealed as if it was a criminal organisation".

The diplomatic rift came two weeks after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt blocked several Qatari media outlets, including Al Jazeera, over comments allegedly made by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation "should heavily get involved, put their weight behind this to declare this an illegal act", he told CNN Money.

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