The Najaf council threatened on Monday to declare civil disobedience and to close all local departments if the central government refused to reopen Najaf’s international airport within 3 days.
This came during an extraordinary session held by the local council, attended by Najaf Governor Adnan al-Zerfi, who announced that he will meet the premier to discuss this request.
“The Najaf local council decided to stage a sit-in as of Tuesday (April 13) at the airport’s building until its reopening,” Khudier Neaama al-Jaburi, the council’s deputy chairman, said at the press conference, held after the meeting.
“A new committee will be formed to meet Shiite clerics and local national figures to pressure the government to reopen the airport,” he added.
He held the government financially responsible for the losses that could be incurred as a result of the airports closure, which can reach $100,000 on a daily basis.
He called for the reopening of the airport within three days otherwise, he said, the council will take legal proceedings to open it.
For his part, Najaf’s governor said he discussed with the members of the local council a number of proposals, including a meeting with the prime minister.
He said he was surprised to find out a problem between the Najaf airport and Baghdad airport and the civil aviation authority, and on this base the airport was closed upon directives from the transportation minister and the council of ministers.
“The council is worried about closing the airport for financial, touristic and cultural reasons,” he explained.
The local council’s deputy chief said at the press conference that they do not know the reason behind closing the airport, asserting that the transportation ministry wants to take over the airport.
“The airport is the greatest achievement of the province,” he underlined.
He considered closing the airport as illegal and a violation of constitution as the constitution gives provinces the right to run their airports.
( Aswat Al Iraq )