Thursday, May 29, 2003
from BBC News International - Tuesday, 27 May, 2003
Kenya's tourism minister has appealed to Britain to lift its ban on flights to the east African country, claiming it is costing the economy about £600,000 per day. Tourism minister Raphael Tuju is in Britain for meetings aimed at convincing UK officials that it is safe to resume flights to Kenya.
"Airlines are flying to Nairobi and Mombasa international airports normally, and it is now essential that the British flight ban is lifted," he said.
Britain halted all flights to and from Kenya by UK-based airlines 12 days ago, claiming there was an imminent threat of attacks from the al-Qaeda terrorist organisation.
The Department of Transport said the ban would remain in place for now, while the Foreign Office has said its travel warnings are constantly under review.
The ban has also hit exports of fruit, vegetables, and flowers which depend on air freight.
Non-British airlines are still flying to Kenya, with Kenya Airways operating direct flights to London.
The ban was sparked by reports that one of al Qaeda's leaders had been sighted at Kenya's Mombasa airport.
Mr Tuju has questioned why Britain singled out Kenya while taking no action against other countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Morocco, which have suffered suicide terror attacks.
"Terrorism is now a worldwide phenomenon and there is no evidence to suggest that we are any more of a target than a dozen other countries," Mr Tuju said.
"Anti-terrorist authorities and our security measures are at the highest possible levels at all sensitive locations including airports, ports and all tourist destinations," he added.
Monday, May 26, 2003
We've had a great weekend in Vancouver seeing friends and family, some for the last time before we take off for a year. Being gone for 12 months, we're sure to hit periods of time where we will miss everyone terribly, but hopefully we'll be able to stay connected somewhat through the Internet.
There still is some concern about us travelling to some countries, notably, Kenya, Morocco, Bali, and Myanmar. We'll try to keep our website current to assure people that we're alright as we travel.
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