Airbus says it will not sell planes to embargo-hit Iraq
The European Airbus consortium stressed on Tuesday that it was respecting international embargoes following a report in an Iraqi weekly newspaper that Baghdad sought to buy 20 Airbus aircraft.
"Airbus respects embargoes," a company spokesman told AFP.
"We do not have the right to sell aircraft to countries under an embargo."
Iraq has been subjected to an international economic and financial embargo since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The spokesman added however that the company's role was to "maintain discussions with all potential clients around the world."
The Iraqi weekly Al-Ittihad quoted on Tuesday a source at Iraqi Airways as saying that talks between Airbus and the national carrier would focus on "increasing the number of Iraqi Airways planes and modernising its fleet by replacing old aircraft with (20) new Airbus A320s, A330s and A340s."
At the same time 30 Iraqi pilots would be trained to fly Airbus aircraft in India and Malaysia, the source said.
The spokesman said Iraqi Airways had never operated Airbus planes.
The company had ordered five A-310 passenger jets in 1989, but their delivery was blocked when international embargoes took effect.
"That is still the case. The contract for the five A-310s is still suspended," the spokesman said.— (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)