UAE releases seized Qatari military vessel it held for a month


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday announced it had released a Qatari military vessel that was seized late last month after entering Emirati territorial waters.

According to the UAE’s Foreign Ministry, the boat was carrying two Qatari military personnel, along with a Palestinian and an Indian national, when it was seized on April 30.

In its own statement Monday, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry expressed its satisfaction with the vessel’s release.

“The ship was conducting a routine drill when it encountered a technical problem and was swept into Emirati waters, where it and its crew were seized by the Emirati authorities,” the statement read.

It added: “Qatar has worked in recent days, through all available diplomatic channels and with mediation by friendly states, to secure the safe return of the vessel and crew.”

Since mid-2017, the UAE — along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain — has imposed a diplomatic and commercial embargo on Qatar, accusing the latter of supporting terrorist groups.

Doha, for its part, strenuously denies the claim, describing the ongoing embargo as a violation of international law.