The US Iran conflict has African Tourism Leaders on the edge

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United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres

The escalating conflict between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran is making travel and tourism leaders in Africa very nervous. Among them is  Alain St.Ange, president of the African Tourism Board.  From his office in Seychelles, he issued an urgent appeal for restraint to US President Donald Trump and Iran President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday. St.Ange shares the concern brought forward Monday by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

Guterres spoke at the United Nations in New York. expressing deep concern over rising global discord and called for “maximum restraint” amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran after the United States killed an Iranian military commander.

The Trump administration is barring Iran’s top diplomat from entering the United States this week to address the United Nations Security Council about the U.S. assassination of Iran’s top military official in Baghdad, violating the terms of a 1947 headquarters agreement requiring Washington to permit foreign officials into the country to conduct U.N. business, according to three diplomatic sources.

The African Tourism Board agreed with the UN Secretary-General repeating: “We are living in dangerous times. Geopolitical tensions are at their highest level this century. And this turbulence is escalating.”

Alain St.Ange, president of African Tourism Board

St.Ange added: “Too many tourism destinations see the recent development as a challenge for their tourism industry as a whole.”

Many regions in Africa where tourism is big business, like the Indian  Ocean, East Africa, West Africa, South Africa for a major part depend on air connection through Doha, Abu Dhabi or Dubai which connects them to major visitors source markets in Europe, India, Asia, South America, North America, and even Australia.

“We can all pray that the situation will not escalate further. Oil prices are already going up. This is the start of trying moments for everyone” said St.Ange the former Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine of Seychelles,  now serving as President of the African Tourism Board.

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