- Title: IRAQ: PLANE CHARTERED BY FRENCH ANTI-EMBARGO ACTIVISTS LANDS IN BAGHDAD.
- Date: 22nd September 2000
- Summary: BAGHDAD, IRAQ (SEPTEMBER 22 2000) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV/CU: THE FRENCH PLANE LANDING AT SADDAM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. (4 SHOTS) 0.16 2. GV/TILT/CU: FRENCH DELEGATION DISEMBARKING PLANE/ GREETED (4 SHOTS) 0.40 3. CU: (SOUNDBITE)(English) DR. VOMASSA POMAH SAYING: "I think France - the sensation (feeling) of the French people is to be friends and to (friendly) friendship relations with Iraq." 0.53 4. GV/MV: FRENCH DELEGATION'S LUGGAGE (3 SHOTS) 1.06 5. MCU: (SOUNDBITE)(English) PILOT YEN SAYING: "We hope that other company will go to Baghdad and follow our flight." 1.21 6. GV: MEMBERS OF A PARIS ROLLER SKATING CLUB PERFORMING AT AIRPORT (3 SHOTS) 1.33 7. CU: IRAQ'S MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS AHMED MURTADHA AHMED (English) SAYING: "There is no resolution at all from the security council preventing the civil flight (civilian flights), so they are welcome." 1.42 8. TRACK/GV: ACTIVISTS AND PLANE ON TARMAC (3 SHOTS) 1.55 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 7th October 2000 13:00
- Location: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVABASE8XKQX10Z4PP6GD262CUWC
- Story Text: A plane chartered by French anti-embargo activists has
landed in Baghdad despite objections of the United States and
Britain that the flight may have violated sanctions against
The 184-seat Boeing 737 jet, chartered from the
Euralair-France airline, landed at Baghdad's newly reopened
international airport at 3:20 p.m. (1120 GMT) on Friday
(September 22). On board were about 80 doctors, young artists
and other activists from France.
Over 20 doctors, surgeons and nurses planned to spend a
few days in Iraq helping the local doctors. The young artists
and some members of a Paris roller skating club were expected
to give an exhibition and take part in Iraq's Babylon
An advance party travelled to Baghdad overland from
Beirut, and the whole party would drive to the Jordanian
capital Amman next week on their way back to France. The
flight was planned by an ad-hoc "Council for Development and
Cooperation", a private French group, opposed to the sanctions
imposed on Iraq.
France notified the U.N. Security Council's Iraqi
sanctions committee about the flight late on Thursday
(September 21), but did not ask the committee for permission.
France and Russia, two veto-wielding U.N. member states
,say the U.N. Security Council never adopted a specific text
banning all flights to or from Iraq.
On Friday at Baghdad airport Iraq's Minister of Transport
and Communications Ahmed Murtadha Ahmed said: "There is no
resolution at all from the security council
preventing the civil flight (civilian flights), so they are
Organiser Jihad Feghali told Reuters by telephone from the
plane before its takeoff from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport
that the group wanted to show that a flight ban imposed on
Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait did not apply to
France, which opposes the strict U.S. interpretation that
the sanctions ban all civilian flights to and from Iraq, says
they ban freight and commercial passenger flights.
The United States and Britain said agreement by all
members of the sanctions committee was needed for such
An organiser said the trip was not breaking the sanctions
as passengers only carried personal belongings.
He said the passengers were thoroughly searched by French
custom officers and declared everything they had, including
mobile telephones, in order to show that they would not sell
or leave anything behind in Iraq.
A Russian company last week sent a plane carrying 11 oil
experts and five tonnes of medicine to Baghdad after obtaining
permission from the U.N. sanctions committee.
A group of politicians is also planning a flight from
Paris to Baghdad on September 29.
Both Russia and France want the sanctions, imposed when
Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, eased and eventually
lifted. But they have adhered to them over the past decade.
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