UAE releases Qatari military vessel that entered its waters

The naval vessel with four men on board sailed into Emirati waters on April 30

UAE navy soldier patrols at Al-Mokha port in Yemen, March 6, 2018. Picture taken March 6, 2018. REUTERS/Aziz El Yaakoubi
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The UAE has released a Qatari military vessel that it seized a week ago after it entered Emirati waters.

Four military personnel who were on board the ship were also released. They included two Qatari sailors – First Lt Mohammed Al Heil and Lance Cpl Saeed Al Marri.

The two other crew members were Lance Cpl Mohammed Al Beltaji, a Palestinian, and Pte Fayez Talkoum, an Indian.

The release of the ship was announced by the UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation on Monday.

The ministry said the vessel, flying the Qatari flag, entered the UAE's territorial waters on April 30.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in July 2017 because of its support for terrorism and Iran.

The Arab Quartet imposed wide-ranging punitive measures which included banning Qatari vessels from their regional waters and planes from their airspace.

Last year, the four countries filed an airspace dispute to the UN's International Court of Justice against Doha in response to at least five incidents of Qatari jets flying within hundreds of metres of UAE civilian aircraft over another country's airspace.

The UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority said such manoeuvres left just seconds to avoid a collision, endangering the lives of those on board.