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Thu 15 Jun 2017 09:57 AM

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UN aviation agency reviewing Qatar's requests on Gulf flight restrictions

Diplomatic discussions are continuing this week to find a consensus-based solution

UN aviation agency reviewing Qatar's requests on Gulf flight restrictions
Qatar Airways A350. (REMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images)

The International Civil Aviation Organisation is reviewing requests from the Qatar government to assess flight restrictions imposed by neighbouring states amid accusations that the country supports extremist groups in the region.

Diplomatic discussions are continuing this week to find a consensus-based solution, the United Nations agency said in an emailed statement. Officials from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain will be arriving at ICAO to progress the talks further, it said.

Qatar’s neighbours severed diplomatic and transport links this month, accusing the nation of backing Islamic militants.

The isolation stemming from the charges - which Qatar denies - has forced the world’s richest country by capita to open new trade routes to import food and other essentials, and added hours to flight times as pilots circumvent its neighbours’ airspace.

Qatar Airways said Wednesday that operations to and from its Doha hub are running smoothly and most flights are operating as scheduled. The national carrier will continue expanding its network in the coming months, it said in a statement.

ICAO is working to “bring these states together towards a solution which satisfies both their current regional concerns and the global needs and expectations of passengers and shippers,” the agency said in its email.

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