Could Qatari planes resume flights over four blockading Arab states? | Inside Story

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The video item below is a piece of English language content from Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera is a Qatari state-funded broadcaster based in Doha, Qatar, owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network.

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  • Millions of passengers on one of the world’s largest airlines have spent more than three years taking the long way home.
    All Qatar Airways flights have been forced to reroute and burn extra fuel to avoid the airspace of the four countries which imposed an air, sea and land blockade in 2017.
    Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt want to keep it that way.
    But the highest court at the United Nations has rejected their appeal to prevent mediation by the world’s civil aviation organisation, the ICAO.
    Will the verdict change the course of the diplomatic dispute?

    Presenter: Imran Khan

    Guests:
    Ali Alhail – Political Writer
    Paul Morcos – Professor of Law at Saint Joseph University in Beirut
    Mahjoob Zweiri – Director of the Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University

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    In This Story: Bahrain

    Bahrain, officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, is a sovereign state in the Persian Gulf. The island nation comprises a small archipelago made up of 40 natural islands and an additional 51 artificial islands, centered around Bahrain Island which makes up around 83 percent of the country’s landmass.

    The country is situated between the Qatari peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia to which it is connected by the 25-kilometre (16 mi) King Fahd Causeway. According to the 2010 census, Bahrain’s population is over 1.2 million, of which around half are non-nationals. The capital and largest city is Manama.

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    Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. No recent population census has been conducted, but 2007 estimates ranged from slightly more than 1 million to 2.2 million as part of Greater Beirut, which makes it the third-largest city in the Levant region and the fifteenth-largest in the Arab world.

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  • In This Story: Egypt

    Egypt, a country linking northeast Africa with the Middle East, dates to the time of the pharaohs. Millennia-old monuments sit along the fertile Nile River Valley, including Giza’s colossal Pyramids and Great Sphinx as well as Luxor’s hieroglyph-lined Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings tombs.

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    Qatar is a peninsular Arab country whose terrain comprises arid desert and a long Persian (Arab) Gulf shoreline of beaches and dunes. Also on the coast is the capital, Doha, known for its futuristic skyscrapers and other ultramodern architecture inspired by ancient Islamic design, such as the limestone Museum of Islamic Art. The museum sits on the city’s Corniche waterfront promenade.

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    Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a country in Western Asia constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula.

    Saudi Arabia also has one of the world’s youngest populations, with approximately 50 percent of its population of 34.2 million being under 25 years old.

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    The United Arab Emirates, sometimes simply called the Emirates, is a sovereign state in Western Asia located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Oman and Saudi Arabia, and has maritime borders in the Persian Gulf with Qatar and Iran.

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