ICAO Council Rejects Blockading Countries’ Appeals against Qatar

Wednesday, June 27, 2018
ICAO Council Rejects Blockading Countries’ Appeals against Qatar

Montreal – Canada

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council has decided to reject the appeals submitted by the blockading countries regarding the incompetence of the ICAO to consider Qatar’s complaints. This came during an ICAO session held today to hear the two complaints the State of Qatar had submitted about the negative impacts caused by the blockading countries on aviation and air safety and security.

HE Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Saif Ahmed Al-Sulaiti hailed the vote by the majority of ICAO Member States in favor of examining and looking into Qatar’s complaints and against the blockading countries’ appeals. He also praised ICAO’s efforts in preserving air safety and security and air traffic.

He also stressed that the blockade countries’ encroachments of aviation safety and security contradict all norms and agreements binding on all parties, in addition to the serious consequences such encroachments cause to air safety and security.

He expressed hope for the ICAO Council’s urgent move to make appropriate decisions toward the right of air passage, blockade countries’ infringements of the international law, as per ICAO’s current dispute resolution mechanism under Article 84 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention 1944). HE the Minister stressed his full confidence in the Council and its wise decisions that are in the interests of aviation safety and security.

Moreover, Minister Al-Sulaiti put an emphasis on Qatar’s firm position on respecting international laws and systems that govern airspaces, generally; a position that is being praised by the international community and which came in the form of Qatar’s refraining from taking any similar counteractions. He also stressed Qatar’s respect of agreements and its attention to aviation safety and security.

The Chicago Convention’s Article 84 on Settlement of Disputes reads: “If any disagreement between two or more contracting States relating to the interpretation or application of this Convention or its Annexes cannot be settled by negotiation, it shall, on the application of any State concerned in the disagreement, be decided by the Council.”

Qatar earlier submitted two complaints to ICAO’s Council under Article 84 of the Chicago Convention, relating to the interpretation and application of the Convention and its Annexes, in addition to the interpretation and application of the International Air Services Transit Agreement (IASTA).

The blockading countries later submitted a preliminary objection to the ICAO Council, claiming the Council’s lack of jurisdiction for Qatar’s two complaints, aiming to evade their obligations toward the Chicago Convention and IASTA and their wish for the Council not to process and resolve the complaint, wishing to expand the negative impacts on aviation and air safety and security.

Qatar then responded to the preliminary objection with full explanation that Qatar’s complaints fall within ICAO Council’s jurisdiction. For that, the Council set June 26, 2018 to hear the complaints.

On July 31, 2017, the ICAO Council approved the opening up of emergency routes for Qatari airplanes.