Alan Wilson [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – More developments within the Qatari blockade have developed as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the UAE are seeking to move a hearing on the siege they imposed on Qatar back in June 2017 from ICAO to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The four states have argued that ICAO has no right to consider the dispute as they are a technical body and do not have the competence to deal with it.

The State of Qatar has previously filed cases with ICAO and have agreed to hold such hearings, but the organization’s level of authority has never been disclosed.

Looking Back At The Spat

In June 2017, the four states cut diplomatic and trading arrangements with the State of Qatar, under the reasoning that the Qatari government was supporting terrorism.

The blockade resulted in the closure of Qatar’s surrounding airspaces, blocking Qatari-registered aircraft to fly through the Middle-East air corridor.

When the blockade came into effect, the carrier had to shut down one-fifth of its network overnight as well as adopt longer routes for its long-haul operations.

Although the Doha-based carrier didn’t post its financial reports for 2017, they said that there was a “substantial annual loss” due to the effects of the blockade and have conceded that they may have to turn to the State for additional funding if the blockade continues any longer.

The four states must believe that the State of Qatar would have been able to influence ICAO, somehow.

Now, as the case will potentially move to the ICJ, the hearing will gain momentum and a determination on whether the blockade violates the Chicago Convention will be attained.