Iraq arranges flights from Belarus to evacuate stranded citizens
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Foreign Ministry announced on Monday a planned special flight to evacuate Iraqi nationals now stranded in Belarus after attempts to smuggle them into Europe.
"Fly Baghdad company will carry out today a flight from Minsk to Baghdad, carrying more than eighty passengers," read a ministry statement that noted, "The airline will also make a flight tomorrow with 200 people on board, according to those registered so far."
It added, "The body of the deceased Iraqi, Jaafar al-Hares, who was killed on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border, will also be transferred."
The explained further that "the delegation of the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Moscow, which is in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, has prepared all the necessary measures to complete the transfer of those stranded in Minsk."
Leaders of Estonia and Lithuania both asked Baghdad on Wednesday to help stem the tide of the illegal smuggling of Iraqi immigrants into Europe through Belarus, which they accuse of intentionally stoking migrant crises in EU member states.
"The delegation of the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Moscow is in full contact with Belarusian authorities to know all developments in the border areas," continued the statement. "The diplomatic team residing in Minsk continues to grant transit passports to those who have lost their passport and wish to return home."
Iraqi Deputy Parliament Speaker Bashir Haddad announced on Aug. 5th that his government would take an active role in bringing back its citizens who attempted to emigrate to Europe and are now stranded in Lithuania.