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Lithuania repatriated 100 Iraqi illegal immigrants

Nearly 100 Iraqis were airlifted to their homeland over the weekend from Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, the Lithuanian Interior Ministry announced on Monday.

The flight, bound for Baghdad and Arbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, carried 98 people who had entered the country illegally from neighboring Belarus, the ministry said, adding that it was the first charter flight of its kind.

He stressed that the repatriation of immigrants was done with their consent.

Speaking to Lithuanian media, Interior Minister Agnie Bilotaite spoke of a “historic” development; for her part, Foreign Minister Gabrieli Landsberkis thanked the European Union and the Government of Iraq for their contribution to the White House crisis. .

In recent months, thousands of migrants and refugees, mostly from the Middle East, have tried to enter EU countries, Poland and the Baltic states, crossing the Belarussian border.

Brussels accuses Minsk’s strongman, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, of deliberately provoking the crisis by transporting refugees from crisis areas to his country and pushing them to the border with EU member states in retaliation for European sanctions. at the expense of his government.

Lithuania, Europeans say, was one of the main targets of what they call a Belarusian operation, with nearly 4,200 migrants crossing its border to seek asylum. Vilnius responded by increasing border security, deploying army units and erecting a fence hundreds of kilometers across the border.

Lithuanian border guards have been repelling migrants and refugees since August 2021; those who arrived earlier are being held in five reception centers. There are currently 3,166 people in them.

A total of 537 migrants have been repatriated, 55 against their will.

The Lithuanian government is offering migrants a lump sum payment of 1,000 euros for voluntary repatriation, an amount significantly higher than in the recent past. The incentive will last until January 20th. New charter flights are planned.

For their part, the Polish authorities announced yesterday that they recorded almost 40,000 attempts to cross their border with Belarus in 2021. The border guard spoke of 39,714, up from 122 in 2020.

Source: AMPE


Source From: Capital

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