India, Kuwait discuss aviation spat | india | Hindustan Times
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India, Kuwait discuss aviation spat

india Updated: Jun 27, 2007 13:36 IST

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India is making all possible efforts to resolve the row with Kuwait which has decided to ban all flights of its designated airlines from July 1, a spokesperson for the Indian civil aviation ministry said on Monday.

"A senior official in charge of bilaterals (bilateral agreements) is expected to fly to Kuwait before June 30 to resolve the matter," the spokesperson said. The official is likely to be RK Singh, a joint secretary in the ministry.

"Some talks have already been held in New Delhi. Another round is expected in Kuwait soon. We hope to resolve matters amicably."

The Gulf country is home to some 550,000 Indians, according to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

India has already said Kuwait's decision to ban flights of India's designated carriers was "unfair and uncalled for" and that pending issues must be resolved mutually.

Kuwait had said two weeks ago that it will stop all flights to India with effect from July 1 since it felt New Delhi was not honouring its commitment to allow more landing rights for its carriers.

The two countries had concluded their bilateral agreement in March last year as per which they allowed 5,200 seats per week for the carriers of either side. The Kuwaiti side requested the limits be raised to at least 6,800 flights per week.

It also wants "fifth freedom rights" for its carriers, which will allow them to pick passengers from third countries, which India fears will hot up competition further for its designated carriers.

"We have a bilateral civil aviation agreement with Kuwait and further talks are on. So the matter should be resolved by mutual consultations. Such unilateral action, we feel, is unfair and uncalled for," the spokesperson said.

"This action is harmful to the interests of the travellers of both countries."