Erbil International Airport pictured on September 29, 2017 following an Iraqi-imposed ban on international flights that took effect on Friday evening. Photo: Rudaw TV
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdistan Region's Minister of Transportation Mawlood Bawa Murad said in the parliament today
that it was unclear as to what the Iraqi aviation authorities wanted especially since they already had full control over flights and cargoes to and from the Kurdistan Region.
The minister argued that the Iraqi government's success in canceling international flights showed that Iraq was already in control of Kurdish airports.
Bawa Murad said that he was told by journalists that the Iraqi government was planning to deploy some officers to the Kurdish airports. He said if the reports were accurate, the Kurdish government will consider such officers as “our guests,” but warned that they will not allow them to “step in” the Kurdish airports unless discussions held about the flight ban.
He said there should not be any doubt that the Kurdish government has the exclusive right whether or not to approve a visit by Iraqi officials to the airport aimed at supervising or monitoring the air operations.
“We will not allow even one single person from Iraq, from the Iraqi civil aviation, or from the office of the [Iraqi] Council of Ministers to come to the Erbil and Sulaimnai international airports without our decision,” Bawa Murad said.
He concluded that unlike the Iraqi government, they want to continue the path of “language of dialogue,” and that the Iraqi authorities should know that Kurdistan remained a nation with or without an airport.