Speaking at the daily press conference of the EU Commission, Mamer stated that EU Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas was in Iraq’s capital Baghdad today as part of the EU’s intensified diplomatic efforts regarding people trying to cross from Belarus to Poland in search of emigration to Europe.
Stating that Schinas will have a series of contacts with Iraqi officials, Mamer said, “In this context, we welcome the statement of the Iraqi authorities that they will launch a flight on Thursday to take their citizens back from Belarus.” said.
Stating that they follow the announcements of the General Directorate of Civil Aviation in Turkey, as well as the relevant authorities of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Lebanon, that they have taken restrictive measures for flights to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, Mamer said, “(Belarusian airlines) We also take into account his statement that he will implement the decision taken by the UAE authorities.” he said.
Iraqi Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed es-Sahhaf said that 571 Iraqi citizens were detected in 8 camps in the two regions on the Belarus-Poland border, and that an expedition would be organized on November 18 for those who want to return voluntarily.
Fabrice Leggeri, Director of the EU Border Security Agency Frontex, stated in his statement on 11 November that there are potentially around 1700 Iraqis to be sent back, 200 of whom are ready.
Tensions between the EU and Belarus escalated after the presidential election held in Belarus in August 2020, where Alexander Lukashenko was declared the winner. The EU has declared that it does not recognize the election result on the grounds that the election was rigged in Belarus.
The EU also states that there is pressure on the opposition in Belarus and imposes sanctions on this country. The sanctions, including those of President Aleksandr Lukashenko, include restrictions on travel and freezing of assets.
EU countries closed the EU airspace to Belarusian airline companies due to the fact that the Ryanair passenger plane, which made the Athens-Vilnius flight on May 23, was landed in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, upon a bomb threat, and the Belarusian dissident Roman Protasevic was detained on the plane.
The current crisis between the EU and Belarus started when thousands of people from countries such as Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan tried to enter neighboring EU countries, especially Poland, from Belarus.
While the EU administration accuses Belarus of using these people as a tool to destabilize the EU, Belarus denies this accusation.
On the Anadolu Agency website, news presented to subscribers via the AA News Flow System (HAS) is published in summary. ..