Ukrainian, Turkish and Egyptian Planes Expected in Baghdad Saturday
Planes from Egypt, Turkey and Ukraine were expected to arrive in Baghdad on Saturday in defiance of a decade-old UN air embargo, Iraq's information ministry said.
The three flights will carry delegations of humanitarian workers as well as political personalities, the ministry said through its press center.
A Russian charter flight from Vnukovo Airlines arrived Friday in Baghdad from Moscow amid reports the airline will start regular flights to Iraq.
The TU-154 aircraft was carrying a delegation of Russian businessmen taking part in an international trade fair in Baghdad set to open Wednesday.
A Palestinian plane was also expected in Baghdad on Sunday carrying around 20 Palestinians wounded in recent clashes with Israeli forces to be hospitalized in Iraq.
A 35-strong Spanish delegation that included politicians, businessmen, doctors and journalists were to leave Iraq on Saturday after a three-day visit on the chartered Ukranian plane that brought them to Baghdad, it added.
An increasing number of countries has 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.
The United Nations has an embargo on commercial flights to Iraq, but a number of countries, including Moscow and Paris, have recently bypassed it with what they have described as humanitarian, non-commercial flights.
The countries have argued that such flights are not covered by the embargo imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
It is an interpretation strongly resisted by UN Security Council members Britain and the United States, who argue that all flights to Iraq have to be cleared by the UN sanctions committee – BAGHDAD (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)