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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Iraq extends flight ban by 3 months for Kurdistan

By Rudaw 26/2/2018
Erbil International Airport was empty after the flight ban came into effect. Photo: EIA
Erbil International Airport was empty after the flight ban came into effect. Photo: EIA

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The flight ban imposed on the Kurdistan Region by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has been extended by three months


Talar Faiq, the head of the Erbil International Airport, told Rudaw on Monday that the decision to block international flights to and from the Kurdish airports has been extended until May 31.

 

It was set to expire on Wednesday. The ban affects international flights to and from the Kurdistan Region's international airports in Erbil and Sulaimani, forcing passengers to obtain an Iraqi visa to transit through Basra or Baghdad.

 

Omed Mohammed Salih, the spokesperson for the KRG’s Transportation Ministry said “given the steps the Kurdistan Region and Iraq took to get close to each other, we did not expect the closure of the airports be extended by three more months.”

Salih, however, was optimistic for the airports being re-opened before the deadline.

“This decree is from the Iraqi Civil Aviation, it could be changed with a decree from Haider al-Abadi,” he asserted.

He explained the three-month extension will not strip the two Kurdish airports of their internationality.

“Granting international identity to any airports comes from a set of measures which the World Aviation Organization provides," he said, explaining that the Erbil and Sulaimani airports do not lose their international recognition just because they have closed down for a specific period of time.


People in the Kurdistan Region view the flight ban as punishment for holding the September 25 referendum on independence, as Abadi imposed the international flight ban days later.

 

Iraqi elections are set for May 12.

Updated at 3:45 p.m.


Omed Mohammed Salih, spokesperson for the KRG’s Transportation Ministry said “given the steps the Kurdistan Region and Iraq took to get close to each other, we did not expect the closure of the airports be extended by three more months.”

Salih, however, was optimistic for the airports being re-opened before the deadline.

“This decree is from the Iraqi Civil Aviation, it could be changed with a decree from Haider al-Abadi,” he asserted.

He explained the three-month extension will not strip the two Kurdish airports of their internationality.

“Granting international identity to any airports comes from a set of measures which the World Aviation Organization provides," he said, explaining that the Erbil and Sulaimani airports do not lose their international recognition just because they have closed down for a specific period of time.
Omed Mohammed Salih, spokesperson for the KRG’s Transportation Ministry said “given the steps the Kurdistan Region and Iraq took to get close to each other, we did not expect the closure of the airports be extended by three more months.”

Salih, however, was optimistic for the airports being re-opened before the deadline.

“This decree is from the Iraqi Civil Aviation, it could be changed with a decree from Haider al-Abadi,” he asserted.

He explained the three-month extension will not strip the two Kurdish airports of their internationality.

“Granting international identity to any airports comes from a set of measures which the World Aviation Organization provides," he said, explaining that the Erbil and Sulaimani airports do not lose their international recognition just because they have closed down for a specific period of time.
Omed Mohammed Salih, spokesperson for the KRG’s Transportation Ministry said “given the steps the Kurdistan Region and Iraq took to get close to each other, we did not expect the closure of the airports be extended by three more months.”

Salih, however, was optimistic for the airports being re-opened before the deadline.

“This decree is from the Iraqi Civil Aviation, it could be changed with a decree from Haider al-Abadi,” he asserted.

He explained the three-month extension will not strip the two Kurdish airports of their internationality.

“Granting international identity to any airports comes from a set of measures which the World Aviation Organization provides," he said, explaining that the Erbil and Sulaimani airports do not lose their international recognition just because they have closed down for a specific period of time.

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aso | 26/2/2018
lizard eating beduin democracy in action
Muraz Adzhoev | 26/2/2018
Only.very naive persons could have believed that the punishing criminal fascist dictatorship regime was over and its revival not possible in the Iraqi “democratic federation”. All those hundreds of Kurdish officials, politicians, lawmakers and ministers who have been supporters of the ruling Iraqi governments lead by al-Maliki and al-Abadi have been and are in fact traitors of the People of Southern Kurdistan. But their time is over already, because Kurdistan has started its national and patriotic self-cleaning socio-political and humanitarian process in order to become free and establish reintegrated, united, powerful and independent country of the People of Southern Kurdistan in the Middle East Region, having in mind that Western Kurdistan most likely sooner than later will join it - sovereignly independent democratic and secular federative Kurdistan.
The Patriot | 26/2/2018
SON OF A B.... guess im stuck here.
Angered European Kurd | 26/2/2018
Shit! I wanted to enjoy my Kurdistan when the flowers are flourishing , now i cannot enjoy Kurdish flowers because in the summer the weather in Kurdistan is unbearable.
info@rudaw.com | 26/2/2018
this is not right people wont accept this decision where we are living. where is Democratic. do not take a easy this issue one day people will fight for it. it will start soon......................
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