Doha's appeal to the UN comes amid escalating territorial tensions between the two countries

Qatar brings territorial tensions with Bahrain to the UN 4 days before the summit

photo_camera AFP/JOHANNES EISELE - The UN Security Council

Qatar reported this Friday that it has brought its territorial tensions with Bahrain before the UN, four days before a summit of Gulf leaders at which some progress is expected to be made in resolving the crisis between Doha and the neighbouring countries.

Qatar's permanent representation at the United Nations sent a message to the Security Council reporting a violation of its maritime territory by Bahrain's military vessels on 25 November, the Qatar foreign ministry said in a statement.

In its letter, Doha considers this episode "a violation of the sovereignty and integrity" of the country and a "threat to its security", according to the note.

The incident to which it refers took place on 25 November when the Qatari coastguard intercepted two boats belonging to its Bareinian counterpart as they were returning from military exercises.

Both vessels were released shortly afterwards, but Bahrain considered the Qatari action to be a violation of international maritime law.

The Doha claim to the UN comes amidst an escalation of territorial tensions between the two countries in recent weeks.

In addition to Bahrain's interception of several fishing vessels, the alleged violation of Bahrain's airspace by military aircraft from the neighbouring nation on 9 December was denounced by Doha and denied by Manama.

This worsening of tension between the two countries is in keeping with the expectations raised by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Saudi Arabia on 5 January regarding the possible announcement of an agreement to overcome the crisis between Qatar and some of its neighbours.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar in 2017 and have subjected it to a blockade, accusing it of supporting terrorism, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, and of maintaining good relations with Iran and Turkey, enemies of the quartet governments.

Kuwait, which has attempted to act as a mediator in this conflict, announced on 4 December that "fruitful" talks had been established between all the parties.

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