Global Policy Forum

Iraq to Purchase Airbus Aircraft,

'Al-Zawra', Baghdad/BBC
September 24, 2000

Text of report by Iraqi newspaper 'Al-Zawra' on 21st September

Jamil Ibrahim, senior undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport, has said that Iran is using the Iraqi planes, which it seized after the 30-nation aggression was launched against Iraq in 1991, in domestic flights. He said that this was a violation of international conventions and norms. He added that Iraq had frequently requested Iran to submit clear information about the planes through the Arab Civil Aviation Organization or the International Civil Aviation Organization. However, Iran has not done so and is refusing to return the planes to Iraq.

Meanwhile, Capt Kamil al-Mashhadani, assistant director- general of operations at Iraqi Airways, has said that Iraq is constantly doing maintenance work on its four airliners which are kept in Tunisia and its six other airliners which are kept in Jordan. However, our attempts to determine the fate of our aircraft in Iran have not led to any fruitful results in view of the Iranian position. He added that Iraq had resumed its talks with the French side for the purchase of 20 Airbus aircraft. The talks were suspended in 1990 and involved only five aircraft at that time. He explained that there was an old agreement in principle with France for the purchase of Airbus-320 and Airbus-330 aircraft, which are known for their high technology. Meanwhile, a delegation of the Airbus company will arrive in Iraq early next month to complete the measures needed in this connection.

Capt al-Mashhadani also said that a Russian delegation representing Aeroflot held talks in Baghdad last week on the resumption of civil flights to Iraq. October was the date fixed for doing so at an average of one weekly flight between Baghdad and Moscow. However, the number of the flights will be increased in the future.

An official of the Russian civil aviation said that a Russian airliner would arrive in Iraq on Saturday [23rd September] and would be followed six days later by a French airliner.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Arab Airlines has expressed its preparedness to cooperate with Iraq. EgyptAir has also expressed the same preparedness. Following the landing of Russian and French aircraft and the announcement of a number of Arab airlines that they intended to operate flights to Iraq, clear steps are being taken to break the illegal air embargo imposed by the US and British administrations on Iraq for well over 10 years.

More Information on Civilian Flights
More Information on Sanctions Against Iraq
More Information on the Iraq Crisis


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