First Lebanese Humanitarian Flight Takes off for Baghdad
A Lebanese cargo plane carrying humanitarian aid took off Friday for sanctions-hit Iraq, after obtaining United Nations permission, Trans Mediterranean Airlines (TMA) said.
TMA said the plane left Beirut International Airport at 2:45 p.m. (1145 GMT), airport officials told AFP.
TMA said the airline had obtained UN permission for the flight, the first by Lebanon, "for 24 hours only because of the diplomatic efforts exercised by the concerned parties."
The plane, carrying 25 tons of private humanitarian aid, was expected to return to Beirut Friday evening, it said.
The Lebanese flight follows a series of tests led by Russia and France and followed by Arab countries, against an air embargo imposed on Iraq after since its 1990 invasion of neighboring Kuwait.
Paris and Moscow say the air embargo on Iraq, as part of the sanctions regime, does not cover private non-commercial flights. Washington and London insist that all flights must be approved by the sanctions committee – BEIRUT (AFP)
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