Date: 2 Jumada al-Ula 1443   Tuesday 07 December 2021

  • Last Update: Monday 06 December 2021، 10:11:41.

Iraq says 275 nationals stranded on Lithuanian-Belarusian border

10:05 03 October 2021 Author :  

Iraq said Saturday that 275 Iraqi nationals have been stranded on the border between Lithuania and Belarus.

“They are stranded across 29 camps on the border,” Karim al-Nouri, an official with the Ministry of Immigration, told the local Al-Sabah newspaper.

He said Baghdad will facilitate procedures for the voluntary return of the Iraqi nationals to Iraq.

Last August, the Iraqi government announced the evacuation of 690 of its citizens stranded for weeks on the border between Belarus and Lithuania.

For weeks, Lithuania has blocked hundreds of Iraqis from entering its territory from neighboring Belarus, prompting the latter to tighten security along its borders to prevent the Iraqi migrants’ return to it, making them stuck in between under poor conditions.

In August, EU countries bordering Belarus – Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland – requested the bloc's help amid a dramatic rise in the number of irregular migrants from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria crossing their borders.

In the same month, Iraq suspended flights to Belarus in an attempt to curb the irregular immigration of its nationals towards EU countries.

Reports say that since the start of the year, the Lithuanian border guards have caught more than 4,000 migrants, mostly from Iraq, compared to only 81 in 2020./aa

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