Nepal asks EU to lift air traffic ban in EU airspace


KATHMANDU, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) — Nepal has requested the European Union to lift a ban imposed on Nepali airlines by the European Union, stating that the Himalayan country has made significant progress on aviation safety, the Nepalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said here Thursday.

Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat made such request to European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker during their recent meeting in Brussels, the ministry said in a press statement.

“The European Commission President assured the foreign minister of looking into the matter positively based upon the facts to be provided by the government of Nepal,” the statement said.

The European Union has been imposing a blanket ban on all airlines from Nepal from flying into the 28-nation bloc since December 2013 under the changes to a list of unsafe carriers.

The European Commission had updated for the 22nd time the European list of airlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the EU, better known as “the EU air safety list.”

As a consequence of the ban on Nepalese carriers, they have been prevented from flying into or within the Union.

During the meeting, the Nepalese foreign minister also sought enhanced level of support from the European Union in Nepal’s infrastructure development and post-earthquake reconstruction efforts, the statement said.

The Nepalese minister also held a meeting with EU’s Vice President Federica Mogherini on EU-Nepal relations.

Mogherini expressed EU’s commitment to support in Nepal’s development efforts, post-earthquake reconstruction process, constitution implementation and electoral support.

The Nepalese Foreign Minister is currently visiting Brussels.

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