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Merkel flight to Delhi delayed by Iran

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-13600457

Merkel plane delayed after Iran refuses passage

2011/05/31 05:17 ET

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel did eventually land in India

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's flight to India has been delayed after Iran's government refused it permission to fly over the country.

Mrs Merkel's plane was forced to circle over Turkey for about two hours as a result, the German government said.

Germany has summoned the Iranian ambassador to explain the incident.

Last week saw the EU extend sanctions against Tehran over the lack of progress in talks about its nuclear programme.

"We have never experienced anything like this before," Mrs Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said.

He said the incident was "unusual to say the least".

"Strange start to Indian trip - Iran temporarily denies overflight to chancellor's plane. Delayed landing in Delhi," he tweeted.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, commenting on the decision to summon the Iranian ambassador, said: "Hindering the German chancellor's passage over Iran is absolutely unacceptable. It shows a lack of respect towards Germany that we will not accept.

"That is why I have summoned the Iranian ambassador. We shall make it very plain that such a breach of international conventions will in no way be tolerated by Germany."

It was not immediately clear why the plane was refused clearance to fly over Iran.

Officials in the German delegation travelling with the chancellor said the incident may have been due to "co-ordination problems".

A second plane with four German ministers on board was not delayed.

Note: no explanation of why she was flying over Turkey/Iran when the shortest route from Berlin to Delhi passes over Moscow, Kazhakhstan, Ghazni (Afghanistan) and Multan. And as of 13:42 ET, Germany is PO'd about Iran's action.

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Errr because there are several different air routes?
When available, don't pilots usually opt for the shortest one?

2005/07/10 I-129F filed for Pras

2005/11/07 I-129F approved, forwarded to NVC--to Chennai Consulate 2005/11/14

2005/12/02 Packet-3 received from Chennai

2005/12/21 Visa Interview Date

2006/04/04 Pras' entry into US at DTW

2006/04/15 Church Wedding at Novi (Detroit suburb), MI

2006/05/01 AOS Packet (I-485/I-131/I-765) filed at Chicago

2006/08/23 AP and EAD approved. Two down, 1.5 to go

2006/10/13 Pras' I-485 interview--APPROVED!

2006/10/27 Pras' conditional GC arrives -- .5 to go (2 yrs to Conditions Removal)

2008/07/21 I-751 (conditions removal) filed

2008/08/22 I-751 biometrics completed

2009/06/18 I-751 approved

2009/07/03 10-year GC received; last 0.5 done!

2009/07/23 Pras files N-400

2009/11/16 My 46TH birthday, Pras N-400 approved

2010/03/18 Pras' swear-in

---------------------------------------------------------------------

As long as the LORD's beside me, I don't care if this road ever ends.

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