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Iraq says almost 4,000 repatriated from Belarus borders

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            Baghdad has repatriated nearly 4,000 of its citizens stuck on Belarus' borders with European Union members Poland, Lithuania and Latvia in recent weeks, Iraq's foreign minister said on Sunday.
Since November 18, the Iraqi government has organized
Iraq says almost 4,000 repatriated from Belarus borders

Baghdad has repatriated nearly 4,000 of its citizens stuck on Belarus‘ borders with European Union members Poland, Lithuania and Latvia in recent weeks, Iraq‘s foreign minister said on Sunday.

Since November 18, the Iraqi government has organized “10 flights from Baghdad to Belarus” to repatriate its citizens, Fuad Hussein said at a news conference in Baghdad with his Lithuanian counterpart.

“We have been able to repatriate some 4,000 Iraqis who were stuck on Belarus‘s borders with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia,” he said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed al-Sahaf later told AFP that “3,817 Iraqi immigrants have been repatriated from Belarus and 112 from Lithuania.”

The flights have generally reached the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, where many of the would-be migrants are from, before continuing on to Baghdad.

Sahaf said some Iraqis were still trapped in Belarus, but “the difficult weather and complex environment do not allow rescuers to determine their number.”

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, who also met Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, said he wanted to “bring new ideas of cooperation” with Iraq.

Since last summer, thousands of migrants, many from the Middle East and Iraq in particular, have camped out on the border between Belarus and the EU, often in difficult conditions, trying to enter the bloc.

The West has accused Belarus of luring migrants to the border as revenge for sanctions against President Alexander Lukashenko‘s regime.

Belarus has denied the claim and criticized the EU for not welcoming the migrants.

Source Credit: TheGuardian

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