Iraq Plans to Begin Withdrawing Civilians From Belarus on Thursday
Iraq will begin recovering civilians stranded in Belarus on Thursday. Then a first flight will be arranged for Iraqis who want to return to their home country, a spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on television.
In Eastern European Belarus, thousands of migrants have been stranded near the border with Poland. They want to travel to the EU but are stopped by the Polish authorities. As a result, the tension in the border area is rising considerably.
Iraq already announced last week that it had sent diplomats to the border area between the European countries. They had to maintain contact with the authorities and ensure the safety of the migrants. Lists would also be drawn up of Iraqis who regret their trip and want to return voluntarily.
EU countries hold Belarus responsible for the chaotic situation in the area. Leader Aleksandr Lukashenko, sometimes called Europe’s last dictator, is said to allow migrants from the Middle East to fly to his country. There they are then directed to the external border of the EU. This is seen as revenge for European sanctions against Lukashenko’s regime.