Verhofstadt urges Rwanda to release tit-for-tat row jet

24th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

24 February 2006, BRUSSELS - Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt has called Rwandan president Paul Kagame in a bid to get secure the release of the SN Brussels Airlines Airbus currently grounded at Kigali Airport.

24 February 2006

BRUSSELS - Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt has called Rwandan president Paul Kagame in a bid to get secure the release of the SN Brussels Airlines Airbus currently grounded at Kigali Airport.

Verhofstadt also summoned the Rwandan Charge d'Affairs in Brussels to his office over the aircraft, grounded since Tuesday in what appears to be a tit-for-tat retaliation over Belgium’s blacklisting of a Rwandan cargo plane.

Over 200 passengers were on board the SN aircraft that was on its way from Nairobi in Kenya to Brussels. A group of passengers has been able to depart with another airline. Others were given accommodation in hotels or spent the night at the Kigali Airport. Passengers have also been stranded in Nairobi.

The plane was refused permission to depart after SN Brussels was unable to provide various non-compulsory document. Documents that were legally required to be on the plane were handed over to Rwanda authorities.

SN Brussels has since provided Rwandan authorities with all requested documents, but the plane was still refused permission to depart.

The grounding appears linked to a Rwandan cargo plane stranded at Zaventem airport. And the decision to block the SN Airbus in Kigali was taken just two hours after the Rwandan authorities had learnt that their aircraft in Brussels was put on a EU blacklist for safety reasons.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian News

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