A Fourth Syrian Plane Lands in Sanctions-Hit Iraq
A Syrian plane landed in Iraq on Thursday, an AFP reporter said, the fourth flight from Damascus to arrive in Baghdad in defiance of a UN air embargo.
The plane included labor union representatives from several Arab countries, including Syria, Algeria, Lebanon and Tunisia, as well as Palestinian union leaders.
An Iraqi official said the delegation will attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Baghdad for a school named after Mohamed al-Durra, the 12-year-old Palestinian boy shot dead by the Israeli army as he was in his father's arms. Television footage of the shooting was broadcast repeatedly around the world.
The Syrian flight was the second plane to land in Baghdad on Thursday. A Spanish delegation of politicians, businessmen, doctors and journalists arrived earlier on a flight from Bulgaria.
An increasing number of countries have been defying an international air embargo against Iraq, following the lead of flights of Russian and French delegations that flew into Saddam International Airport shortly after it reopened in August.
A Syrian plane landed in Iraq on October 8, the first air link between the two countries since they broke off diplomatic relations in 1980.
Baghdad and Damascus, ruled by rival factions of the Baath party, began to normalize their relations in 1997, opening their joint border to officials and businesspeople -- BAGHDAD (AFP)
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