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Cablegate: Jordan Releases Grounded Iraqi Airways Planes

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

281354Z Nov 05

UNCLAS AMMAN 009195

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

ABU DHABI FOR FAA REP PAUL BARTKO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ECON JO IZ
SUBJECT: JORDAN RELEASES GROUNDED IRAQI AIRWAYS PLANES


1. (U) Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Suleiman
Obeidat confirmed to emboff 11/28 a recent AP report that the
Government of Jordan (GoJ) has authorized the release of six
Iraqi Airways planes grounded in Amman after Iraq's 1990
invasion of Kuwait. Obeidat added that Iraqi technicians
would be arriving in Amman within a month to attempt to fix
two of the six planes (Boeing 727s) and fly them back to
Baghdad. According to Obeidat, the other four planes "are
not flyable or repairable." When asked what would happen to
those four planes, Obeidat said it was "up to the Iraqis' to
determine how to transport the aircraft," but noted that "the
four planes are definitely being removed from the ramp to a
natural surface immediately."

2. (U) When asked if the GoJ was requiring a payment for
storage fees (understood to be approximately $5.5 million) to
release the planes, Obeidat was clear that while the GoJ
Ministry of Finance had approved the release without payment,
the fees were still due in theory.

3. (SBU) COMMENT: The GoJ,s authorization to release the
aircraft is in response to a request made by the GoI, and is
a sign of Jordan,s interest in further improving relations
with its eastern neighbor. One possible reason for the
decision to release the planes at this time may be the need
for additional space to support new slots at Queen Alia
International Airport in Amman for both an emerging domestic
carrier, and for routes that Royal Jordanian is not using and
plans to sell to international carriers.
RUBINSTEIN

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