Sunday, June 22, 2003

Somali leader seeks lifting of flight ban
NAIROBI, 23 JUNE 2003--The Somali Transitional National Government wants Kenya to lift the flight ban on the country.
The closing of Kenyan airspace to aeroplanes from Somalia will only add to the suffering of its citizens and undermine the on-going peace talks, President Abdi Qassim Salat Hassan said. His call came barely two days after the ban was effected.

He was addressing a press conference at the Grand Regency Hotel in Nairobi yesterday.

The president said he hoped the ban would be lifted in two or three days.

"Kenya is a friend and a brotherly neighbour to Somalia and I'm sure the decision to ban all flights to Somalia is a temporary security measure which I hope will be lifted in a day or two."

He added: "Somali tribal and political leaders use the flights to take part in the on-going peace negotiations and there is no doubt that the decision to ban flights to Somalia can seriously interfere with the process."

The TNG leader hosted Somalis living in Nairobi at the hotel. MORE

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