Jordanian authorities have demanded that Qatar Airways suspend all flights to Jordan after the carrier flew Hamas spokesman Ibrahim Ghoshe into Amman, the company's director-general said late Friday, June 15.
"The Jordanian Civil Aviation Authority has asked Qatar Airways to suspend all scheduled flights from Doha to Amman this season," Akhbar Al-Baker told AFP.
He said Jordanian officials claimed the carrier had "violated our air service agreement by bringing an illegal immigrant to Amman," referring to Ghoshe, who was expelled from Jordan in 1999.
The director-general called Amman's decision "laughable", adding that the airline did not consider Ghoshe to be an illegal immigrant.
Qatar Airways protested Friday after Jordan impounded the plane carrying Ghoshe, arguing it was incurring huge financial losses due to the aircraft being blocked in Amman.
"The blocking of the plane by the Jordanian authorities is causing the company huge material losses," the official QNA agency quoted a Qatar Airways official as saying, adding the incident was "unprecedented."
Jordanian airport officials told AFP Friday that the Qatari plane that flew Ghoshe from Doha on Thursday was still grounded at Queen Alia Airport. They refused to give more details.
After Ghoshe was denied entry, airport officials asked the pilot to return him to Doha, where he and three other Hamas leaders were deported in November 1999.
Hamas violently opposes the Arab-Israeli peace process and is at the forefront of the current Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule, while Jordan signed a peace treaty with the Jewish state in 1994. ― (AFP, Doha)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)