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Posted On: 13 September 2009 10:26 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

Iraq-Qatar flights resume after 18-year break

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Iraqi Airways resumed flights from Baghdad to the Qatari capital on Friday for the first time in 18 years, an AFP journalist reported. Welcoming the flight, Iraq's ambassador in Doha, Jawad Kadhem al Hindawi, said his country's national carrier planned two flights a week initially to Qatar, one from Baghdad and the other from the Shiite holy city of Najaf. Najaf, south of Baghdad, is home to the mausoleum of the revered Imam Ali, and the focus of pilgrimage for millions of people every year. Iraqi Airways aircraft were grounded by the international embargo that followed the Iraqi invasion of its tiny neighbour Kuwait in August, 1990. Following the US-led invasion of March 2003 that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, the airline resumed operations, flying mostly to Arab countries, Iran and Turkey. In March it made its first flight to the European Union in 19 years when an aircraft flew from Baghdad to Stockholm via Athens.