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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

But at least they got to use the duty free shop...

The Israeli delegation to the United Nations-affiliated Universal Postal Union conference was turned back at the airport in Dubai on Monday because they lacked proper visas to enter the country. More than 700 people from 134 other countries attended the conference, which ends tomorrow.
The four-member Israeli delegation, headed by the country's postal director, was turned back by immigration officials at Dubai International Airport on Monday because they lacked visas, said officials here, including Juliana Nel, spokeswoman for the Bern, Switzerland-based Universal Postal Union.

On Tuesday, the US delegation issued a statement regretting that the Israelis were turned back.

The UPU lodged a formal protest with the Emirates government, Nel said.

The Israeli officials lacked entry visas and had not made an advance application to enter the country to attend the conference, said an Emirates government official, speaking on condition of anonymity. [I find this hard to believe. All Israelis know that they have to apply for visas in advance to visit the Emirates and a whole host of other countries - including the United States. CiJ].

Nel said the UPU had not been told exactly why the Israelis weren't given visas on Monday.

"We made it very clear that since we are a UN specialized agency, that this wasn't acceptable to us," Nel said on Wednesday. "There should be no discrimination against a member state."

Israelis are normally blocked from entering the Emirates and other countries that have no diplomatic links with the Jewish state. But moderate Gulf Arab countries, including the Emirates, routinely allow Israelis who make visa arrangements to attend international conferences held under the auspices of the UN, World Bank and others.

On Tuesday, the Emirates authorities invited the Israeli delegation to return, but Nel said it was unclear whether they would, since the conference would finish Thursday.

The American delegation, headed by Dennise Mathieu, US Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, issued a statement thanking the Emirates for inviting the Israelis to come back. [Dhimmies! CiJ]
But if they made it to the airport, they were presumably allowed to use the duty free shop. Dubai's duty free shop is one of the three largest in the world. Israelis love duty free shops - the duty free shop at Ben Gurion is open pretty much 24/7. A small consolation....


At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh good I hope they picked up somthing good for Shabbos Kiddush


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