19 March 2018

Iraq PM lifts flight ban to Kurdish region’s airports

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Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Tuesday lifted a ban on international flights to northern Iraq’s Kurdish region. reports citing Turkish media.

In a statement, al-Abadi’s office said flights will be resumed to the Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports after a six-month suspension.

The move “aims to facilitate the travel of citizens” through the two airports, the statement said.

The prime minister said the ban was lifted “after local authorities in the Kurdish region accepted the return of the two airports to the federal authority”.

He said airports in the Kurdish region will be under the command of the Federal Ministry of Interior.

Al-Abadi said a higher committee will be formed “to oversee the management of the Kurdish region’s airports to ensure their compliance with the federal government's standards."

Relations between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) have remained tense since last September, when the KRG held an illegitimate referendum on regional independence.

The unconstitutional poll prompted Baghdad to impose a raft of punitive sanctions on the KRG, including a ban on international flights into and out of the Kurdish region.

2018.03.13 / 17:10
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