Syria and North Korea in talks over charter flights

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By admin August 7, 2014 20:07

Syria and North Korea in talks over charter flights

The Syrian government has proposed a proportional allotment agreement between Syrian Air and North Korean state airline Air Koryo, during a Syria-North Korea Joint Economic Committee meeting in June.

The arrangement will allow for the block booking of an allotment of seats or space on either airline, for the regular transfer of individuals or cargo. Syria’s Ministry of Aviation has already signed the agreement and is awaiting an official response from North Korea.

Lubaneh Mshaweh, the head of Syrian-DPRK Joint Economic Committee, said: “Things take time in Korea, as you know, there are higher points of reference needed.”

The agreement will facilitate tourism and trade via chartered flights between the countries, or through the transshipment of cargo at international airports.

However concerns have been raised in the West over whether the deal constitutes a potential breach of sanctions, as it raises the possibility of arms trade between the two countries.

The Panel of Experts (PoE) on North Korean sanctions said in their 2013 report that “the Syrian Arab Republic is involved in one-third of all weapons of mass destruction and arms-related incidents of non-compliance investigated by the Panel. These incidents prove the persistence of close ties between the two countries, which continue to be a matter of serious concern.”

The proportional allotment agreement could still be put to legitimate use as North Korea conducts regular flights to the Middle East that are believed to be for legitimate economic activities, with Air Koryo operating a route between Pyongyang and Kuwait via Pakistan since 2011.

admin
By admin August 7, 2014 20:07