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Kurdistan

Foreigners in Kurdistan permitted to leave via Baghdad

By Rudaw 2/10/2017
Empty Erbil airport after the flight ban came into effect Friday at 6pm. Photo: A.C. Robinson/Rudaw
Empty Erbil airport after the flight ban came into effect Friday at 6pm. Photo: A.C. Robinson/Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraq will allow foreigners in the Kurdistan Region to transit through Baghdad despite not holding an Iraqi visa as Kurdistan’s airspace remains closed to international travel. 

“Any person can leave the country via Baghdad without paying a fine or for an exit visa,” Interior Minister Qassem al-Araji told journalists, AFP reported on Monday. 

Baghdad ordered international flights to Erbil and Sulaimani airports to cease as of Friday evening after Kurdish authorities refused to hand over control of the airports to federal authorities after 92.7 percent voted ‘yes’ for independence in last Monday’s referendum. 

Baghdad does not recognize visas issued by Kurdistan Region authorities, meaning foreigners entering Kurdistan could not previously travel to other parts of Iraq. 

Since Friday evening, when the last international flights departed Kurdistan Region, only domestic flights have passed in and out of Erbil and Sulaimani airports. 

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Muraz Adzhoev | 2/10/2017
Baghdad has been committing absolutely unjustified and clearly unreasonable violation of the ICAO International rules and obligations ratified by Iraq.
DevonC | 2/10/2017
So, we can leave. But can we come back? That is the question!
khatun | 3/10/2017
What about allowing people enter? I just don't get this flight ban. The people it really punishes are foreigners (as Kurds, being Iraqi citizens, can easily travel through Baghdad.) Last time I checked we were not voting in the referendum.
mkhan | 3/10/2017
Thanks but no thank. We are not leaving.
Francis Suren gomes | 3/10/2017
I have Kurdistan residence permit and I like to go exit via Baghdad to Delhi it's possible and I am not coming back.please confirm me
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