Iraq makes deal with Lithuania over migrant crisis
Iraq strikes a deal with Lithuania to move Iraqi nationals from the Lithuanian-Belarusian border to Vilnius, announced Iraq’s Migration Ministry.
The Iraqi Migration Ministry revealed on Saturday that, following a visit by an Iraqi ministerial delegation to refugee camps along the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, a deal was struck between the two sides to relocate Iraqi nationals to dormitories in Vilnius.
"The delegation has made an agreement with the Lithuanian side to transfer border camps to dormitories in the capital," the head of the delegation Dureid Jamil Aisha said in the Ministry's statement.
He also revealed that the Iraqi delegation held a series of meetings with Lithuanian authorities, as well as representatives of international organizations and the United Nations. The delegation also visited refugee camps at the border and met with Iraqi nationals there.
Western countries have been accusing Belarus of bringing migrants, mostly from Middle Eastern countries, to the borders of the European Union in response to the sanctions imposed by the bloc against the Lukashenko government.
However, Belarus has denied the accusations and criticized the European Union for refusing to take in the migrants.
In its turn, Lithuania announced extending the state of emergency on its border with Belarus until mid-January, while migrants continue their attempts to cross the border.
Meanwhile, Belarus announced that it would impose a ban on food imports from several Western countries after the United States and Europe expanded sanctions against Minsk.