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U.S., EU officials meet to discuss expansion of ban on in-flight laptops

BRUSSELS — U.S. and European Union (EU) officials met on Wednesday to discuss expansion of a U.S. ban on in-flight laptops on planes from Europe.
According to some media reports, U.S. officials defended the decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss with Russian officials an Islamic State group terror threat related to the use of laptops on aircraft, while EU officials said that they had not been notified on the threat.
It is reported that an anonymous EU official said that the talk is to create a consultation and a sharing of information.
International Air Transport Association (IATA) chief executive officer Alexandre de Juniac said in an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday that extending the curbs would obstruct travel and might not be the best way of countering the threat.
In March, the United States announced laptop restrictions on flights originating from 10 Middle Eastern airports, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, for fear that a concealed bomb could be installed in electronic devices.
The ban applies to laptops, tablets, e-book readers and cameras. These devices have to be placed in checked baggage. According to some experts, a bomb in the cabin would be easier to make compared in the cargo.
However, IATA wrote to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc on Tuesday expressing "serious concern" regarding the expanded ban, the reports said.
IATA said that if governments agree that wider curbs are necessary they should consider applying measures to enhance security while avoiding the concentration of devices in holds. (PNA)
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Last Modified: 2017-May-18 18.00.02 UTC+0800