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Erbil Airport Director Hopes Iraqi Ban on International Flights to Be Lifted

© AFP 2022 / Brendan SmialowskiA member of the flight crew inspects a cargo plane at Erbil International Airport, the capital of northern Iraq's Kurdistan autonomous region, on June 24, 2014.
A member of the flight crew inspects a cargo plane at Erbil International Airport, the capital of northern Iraq's Kurdistan autonomous region, on June 24, 2014. - Sputnik International
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The director of Erbil International Airport hopes that the ban Iraqi authorities have placed on international flights to and from the commercial airport in Iraqi Kurdistan will be lifted soon.

ERBIL (Sputnik) — Talar Saleh, Director of Erbil International Airport, told Sputnik on Wednesday that he was hopeful that the ban on international flights that is expected to come into force on Friday will be lifted shortly thereafter, adding that now the flights are proceeding as scheduled.

"We will see what happens on Friday, maybe in two days they will change the decision. Wrong decisions were taken several times; unfortunately, the decisions of the government in Baghdad were also wrong. However, I don't think this solution will be longstanding," Saleh said.

Erbil International Airport. (File) - Sputnik International
Iraqi Gov't to Ban Flights From Main Kurdish Airports on Friday
Moreover, according to the official, this decision will negatively influence numerous employees of foreign diplomatic missions, UN missions, as well as the entire region.

"I think it will be difficult to ban flights. We have international [counter-terrorist] coalition forces in our airport. We can say that there are not only civil aircraft in the airport. If they [Baghdad] implement this decision, we too, in response, can do something," Saleh said.

Earlier in the day, the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority said that all international flights to and from Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports would be suspended starting from Friday. Earlier, Baghdad gave the Kurdistan Regional Government time until Friday to hand over control of its airports or face an international air embargo.

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