Syrian delegation grounded by Athens International Airport en route to Geneva II

The Syrian plane was refused fuel by two different companies, citing a 2011 embargo.
Posted By JC Finley   |   Jan. 21, 2014 at 4:17 PM   |   Comments

Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A plane transporting the Syrian regime's delegation to Switzerland for the Geneva II peace talks was grounded Tuesday when Athens International Airport refused to refuel the private jet, an incident the Greek Foreign Ministry says was a mistake.

The Syrian plane arrived at Athens around 12:00 p.m. local time to refuel, having obtained the necessary permits.

According to an airport official, an international embargo placed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime in May 2011 prohibited the airport from providing fuel to the Syrian plane. The Greek Foreign Ministry asserted "The problem is not due to the state civil aviation authority but due to two private companies that refused to provide the fuel."

The plane was ultimately refueled and departed Athens International Airport around 5:00 p.m. local time. Syrian state television reported that the delegation has arrived in Geneva.

The Geneva II peace talks on Syria are set to commence Wednesday.

[Wall Street Journal]

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