UPDATE 1-UAE will complain to U.N. body over Qatar war planes

(Adds details, background)

By Alexander Cornwell

DUBAI, Jan 16 (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates will lodge a complaint against Qatar at the United Nations’ aviation agency on Tuesday after Qatari war planes allegedly intercepted UAE civilian aircraft, a UAE official said.

The UAE said on Monday that Qatari air force jets had intercepted two UAE civilian aircraft on routine commercial flights to Bahrain. Qatar has said the claims are “completely untrue”.

The UAE will accuse Qatar of violating the Chicago Convention, which governs the use of airspace, in a complaint to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), UAE General Civil Aviation Authority Director-General Saif Mohammed al-Suwaidi told Reuters.

The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, has imposed travel, diplomatic and trade sanctions on Qatar since last June, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Qatar denies the charge and has accused the four countries of trying to make it conform to their foreign policy positions.

Suwaidi said the UAE would ask ICAO’s council to discuss the interception, and that he was confident ICAO could stop a repeat of Monday’s incidents.

According to the UAE, Qatari military planes flew close enough to the Emirati airliners to be seen by the crew and passengers, which constituted a threat to their safety. (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Raissa Kasolowsky)

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