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News

News (4)

Turkey asks Germany to change travel advice, extradite Kurd


German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, left, and his counterpart from Turkey, MevlutCavusoglu, right, walk to take air prior to a meeting in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

 

BERLIN (AP) — Turkey’s foreign minister is urging Germany to reconsider its travel advice for his country, which has seen a slump in German tourists in recent years.

MevlutCavusoglu says the guidance, which warns against travel to southern provinces and the arbitrary arrest of German citizens, doesn’t reflect “good friendly relations” between the two countries.

Before a meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Cavusoglu said Turkey was no less safe than European cities. The number of Germans visiting Turkey fell from 5.6 million in 2015 to 3.5 million last year amid security concerns following a failed coup and several extremist attacks.

Asked about Turkey’s request for the extradition of Syrian Kurdish politician Salih Muslim, Gabriel said Berlin would treat it “in accordance with the rule of law.”

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Shaken & stirred: Japan’s ‘James Bond volcano’ spews massive cloud of smoke

 

Japan’s Shinmoedake volcano sent large plumes of smoke and ash thousands of feet into the air Tuesday. The volcano, featured in the 1967 James Bond movie, ‘You Only Live Twice,’ is expected to continue erupting for “some time.”

 

Shinmoedake is located on the island of Kyushu, 985 km (616 miles) from Tokyo, in a rural area, and no injuries have been reported, Japan Times said. Access to the peak has been restricted since March 1, when the volcano began experiencing smaller eruptions.

 

Japanese television footage showed molten lava inside the crater. NHK said the cloud of smoke and ash had risen up to 2,800 meters (9186 feet) before 8pm local time.

 

The Japan Meteorological Agency gave the volcano a level three eruption warning, indicating that the public should not approach the volcano but that there was no immediate need to evacuate as would be the case with a level five warning. “The mountain has been erupting for a while, but this is the strongest day yet,” an official at the Japanese Meteorological Agency said. “This will go on for a while.”

 

In nearby Kirishima, residents wore surgical masks and covered their mouths with towels. Some used umbrellas to protect themselves from the ash, AP reports. The eruption caused several flights to be cancelled. Japan is home to 110 active volcanoes, 47 of which are constantly monitored.

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Flying to Tel Aviv on Air India: Saudi Arabia opens airspace for shorter flights

 

In an unprecedented and historic move, Saudi Arabia will provide full access to its airspace for Star Alliance member Air India, on its commercial flight to Tel Aviv.

The flight from India to Tel Aviv, is scheduled to commence soon, given the hostile relations in the past between Saudi Arabia and Israel, the former debarred use of its airspace to all commercial flights bound for Israel.

This move will reduce flight time by two hours, as earlier Israel bound flights had to take a detour and go round the Red Sea and the Arabian Peninsula, thus increasing fuel consumption. According to a statement by the Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, this path-breaking agreement was signed today between Saudi Arabia and Air India.

The coming together between old foes Saudi Arabia and Israel is a backdoor diplomatic move to counter the growing anxiety of the emergence of Iran as a nuclear state. Israel is giving a financial grant of USD 750,000 to Air India.

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Etihad Airways launches first flights to Baku, Azerbaijan

 

Etihad Airways has launched the first ever scheduled flights linking Abu Dhabi and Baku.

The inaugural flight, EY297, departed Abu Dhabi yesterday carrying a special delegation including diplomats, dignitaries, media representatives, and senior members of Etihad Airways’ management team.

On arrival in Baku, the aircraft was greeted with a traditional water cannon salute, followed by the customary display of the Emirati and Azerbaijani national flags from the cockpit windows.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways chief executive, said: “We are tremendously excited to be launching scheduled flights between Abu Dhabi and Baku, the only scheduled service linking the two capitals.

“There is strong demand from both markets for a direct, full-service operation on the route, and we have responded to this increasing customer requirement.

“The new flights will further boost traffic from the UAE and strengthen the bilateral relations between the two nations.

“The visa waiver programme introduced for UAE nationals by Azerbaijan in 2015 has greatly stimulated interest in the country, resulting in a surge of visitors since its implementation.”

Etihad Airways and Azerbaijan Airlines recently announced a codeshare partnership which now sees Azerbaijan Airlines place its ‘J2’ code on Etihad Airways services between Baku and Abu Dhabi.

Under this partnership, Azerbaijan Airlines guests will be able to book codeshare flights to and from Abu Dhabi and connect onto Etihad Airways’ extensive global network.Etihad Airways has appointed Saeed Mohammad Ahmed as its country manager Azerbaijan.

Flying three times a week using a 136-seat Airbus A320, configured with 16 seats in business and 120 in economy class, the new flights will operate every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, providing optimal daylight timings for guests departing and arriving in Abu Dhabi and Baku.

The schedule provides convenient connections to and from the airline’s global network and has been timed evenly throughout the week to provide a mix of weekend, short stay and business travel options.

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