Iraq halts working permit of Belarus Consulate in Baghdad
Move comes amid migration crisis on Belarusian-Polish border
Iraq announced on Friday that it is "temporarily" halting the Belarus Consulate's working permit in Baghdad amid an ongoing migration crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border.
"This step comes to protect Iraqi citizens from human smuggling networks through Russia and Poland," said Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Al-Sahhaf, according to an Iraqi News Agency report.
"The Iraqi embassy in Moscow and Warsaw are coordinating Iraq's efforts for the voluntary return of those stranded on the Belarus-Poland border," according to Al-Sahhaf, who said, "Iraq has stopped direct flights between Iraq and Belarus."
According to the latest EU figures, 7,935 people tried to enter the bloc via the Belarus-EU border in 2021, up sharply from just 150 last year.
Polish authorities stepped up border protection Monday and mobilized more than 12,000 troops after a large group of migrants started marching toward the country's frontier with Belarus accompanied by the Belarusian military.
*Writing and contribution by Merve Aydogan in Ankara
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