Yemen PM says German ban on passenger flights 'unjustified'

3rd November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Germany's ban on passenger flights from Yemen following a global parcel bomb alert is "unjustified," state news agency Saba on Wednesday quoted Prime Minister Ali Mohammad Mujawar as saying.

A number of countries tightened air security measures after two US-bound parcel bombs were sent from Yemen in an alleged Al-Qaeda plot, but Germany went further and announced a ban on passenger flights from the Arabian Peninsula country.

The German decision is "unjustified and will negatively affect the reputation of Yemen which is considered the international community's major partner in fighting terror," Mujawar was quoted as saying.

"This will benefit Al-Qaeda terrorists," he added, urging the Germans to "think carefully" before making such decisions.

Two parcels sent from Yemen and addressed to Jewish institutions in Chicago containing the lethal explosive PETN hidden in ink toner cartridges were uncovered in Britain and Dubai on Thursday en route to the United States.

They have been linked to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the local franchise of Osama bin Laden's jihadist network, and a Saudi bombmaker believed to be hiding in Yemen.

The bomb found in Britain had been routed via the western German city of Cologne.

Mujawar spoke during a meeting with the ambassadors of the United States and Europe in Sanaa.

Yemen will continue its war on terror, the prime minister said, describing the "security cooperation" with Saudi Arabia as "excellent."

Yemen's Transport Minister Khaled Ibrahim al-Wazir meanwhile has insisted that his country's airports operate within international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

In response to the parcel plot, Yemen announced a crackdown on cargo shipments and a general tightening of security at its airports.

London has suspended all unaccompanied air cargo from Yemen and extended the ban to cargo from war-torn Somalia.

The Netherlands on Monday suspended cargo and mail flights originating in Yemen, and France has also suspended air freight.


© 2010 AFP

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