U.S. lifts Bali airport security alert

Thu Oct 11, 2007 6:55am EDT

JAKARTA Oct 11 (Reuters) - The United States lifted a security warning against the airport on Indonesia's Bali island on Thursday two years after it was issued following a string of bombings on the resort island.

The decision came ahead of U.N. climate talks in December when delegates from 189 countries will gather in Bali to discuss a pact to slow down global warming.

In 2005, U.S. homeland security declared the airport in Denpasar unsafe and discouraged U.S. planes from flying directly to the island, following the attacks in 2002 and 2005 that killed over 200 people.

The decision to lift the warning was based on an assessment by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration that found security measures at the airport complied with International Civil Aviation Organisation standards, a U.S. official said.

"This is very good news for Indonesia as it prepares to host the United Nations COP-13 Climate Change Conference in Bali this December," U.S. Charge d'Affaires John Heffern said in a statement.

Indonesia's aviation chief, Budhi Mulyawan Suyitno, said he hoped the decision would bring more tourists to Bali.

Tourism in Bali suffered a massive blow after the bomb attacks, but has started recovering in recent months.