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Syria peace talks plane held in Athens over EU trade embargo

Published time: January 21, 2014 13:00
Edited time: January 21, 2014 16:50
A Syrian Air plane takes off from the Athens International airport on January 21, 2014. (AFP Photo)

A Syrian Air plane takes off from the Athens International airport on January 21, 2014. (AFP Photo)

A Syrian plane with 26 Geneva 2 peace talks delegates onboard has reportedly left Greece. The plane was stranded in Athens for hours when it was refused a refuel in a fuss over EU sanctions against Syria.

The local news agency reported the plane took off from Athens airport at 15:00 GMT.

The plane had earlier been en route to Switzerland. It was permitted to pass through the relevant airspace and had to land in Athens for refueling.

However, a refuel was denied, which resulted in few hours’ delay.

The head of Greece's Civil Aviation Workers Union has said that a Greek firm refused to refuel their plane, citing an EU trade embargo.

Vassilis Alevizopoulos said the plane was allowed to land in Athens, but the fuel company refused to refuel it due to European Union sanctions against Syria.

The Foreign Ministry had to intervene to settle the conflict. It then said that local authorities were conducting “the procedure which applies in the cases of an international embargo, and after completion, the aircraft will be fueled and will get off to its final destination.”

"Everything is OK, it has been cleared for take-off," foreign ministry spokesperson Konstantinos Koutras, said as cited by Reuters.

A Syrian Air plane stands on the tarmac of the Athens International airport on January 21, 2014. (AFP Photo)

Nearly three hours after unofficial negotiations the issue was settled. Refueling started at 15:30 local time, the Athens News Agency reported.

Due to the delay, the head of the delegation, the Deputy Prime Minister, and Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem, were late for the scheduled meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Montreux, Switzerland on the eve of the beginning of Geneva 2, SANA reported.

The Geneva 2 conference, slated for January 22, has been on the verge of collapse.

One of the recent threats that put the peace talks in jeopardy was the Western-backed Syrian opposition’s demand to withdraw the invitation to Iran by 19:00 GMT Monday.

UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, retracted his invitation saying that Tehran “has chosen to remain outside that basic understanding” of the global consensus behind the Geneva communiqué.

Following the announcement Syria’s main opposition group – the Syrian National Coalition – confirmed its participation in the peace talks.

Comments (41)


Godwin 21.01.2014 22:14

Severe Drought and the Destruction of US Agriculture

The first cause of the drought is Manufacturing Pollution from China and India.


Godwin 21.01.2014 22:14

The sun emits photons or radiation which in turn charge, excite, the pollutants causing global warming. Black objects, pollutants, absorb and radiate heat. Black objects are black because almost all the light that falls on them is absorbed into the material. Little or no light is reflected back toward your eye, therefore you see black. The light that is absorbed ultimately becomes heat.

The second cause of the drought is the global airline industry.


Godwin 21.01.2014 22:14

Thirdly one of the most overlooked pollutants is the Radio Frequencies Spectrum or Inter-Satellite System(s). Both commercial and military, digital, radar, radiation systems have exponentially polluted the planet earth. The black pollutants are so much so excited via digital electromagnetic radiation that hydrogen can’t bond to natural or unnatural atmospheric particle(s). Hydrogen atoms have a very sensitive collective polarization. Hence we have an endless Global Drought.

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