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No more restrictions on Australian passengers on Jewish faith transitting through Damascus Airport

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The Prime Minister today welcomed the assurances that the

Government had received from the Government of Syria, that

restrictions on Australian passengers of the Jewish faith

transitting through Damascus airport are no longer applicable.

These assurances had been given following representations by

the Australian Government, which had been.very concerned about

reports that QANTAS was acceding to Syrian regulations that

prohibited people of Jewish faith, of any nationality, travelling

on aircraft that called at Damascus.

Mr Fraser reaffirmed that the Australian Government abhorred all

forms of discrimination on racial, religious or other grounds.

The Australian Government had now asked QANTAS to take the

necessary action to ensure that the Travel Information Manual

issued by IATA is amended appropriately to conform with the

current situation.

This Manual is used by a large number of international airlines

and travel agents, and it was on the basis of the information

contained in it that QANTAS and other international airlines

had counselled passengers of the Jewish faith to avoid flights

through Damascus.

Mr Fraser said that he was delighted that this restriction no

longer applied, because the Government could not and would not

condone discrimination against any group of Australian citizens.

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