KRG ready to facilitate the return of migrants: official

KRG ready to facilitate return of migrants following border violence: official
2 min read
11 November, 2021
Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has said it is prepared to help with voluntary migrant returns amid increasing violence at the Belarus – Poland border.
Authorities have been accused of using excessive force against migrants at the Belarus-Poland border [Getty]

Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has said it is prepared to help with voluntary migrant returns amid increasing violence at the Belarus – Poland border, where authorities have been accused of using excessive force.

“Migration is a natural phenomenon that happens in the Middle East and African regions, and the Kurdistan Region is part of it,” Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) spokesperson Jotiar Adil told reporters following a meeting between the KRG's interior minister and other officials, according to Kurdistan24.

“However, the Kurdistan Region is much better than the neighbouring countries in this regard, and the migration percentages have decreased comparing to previous years,” Adil added.

Safeen Dizayee, the head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations (DFR), blamed European Union pressure for halting the movement of people via flights from Iraq to Belarus, and the ease of tourism visas to Eastern European countries.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki urged the EU on Wednesday to halt flights to the Eastern European country to stem the flow of migrants trying to enter via the eastern external border.

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He made the comments during a news conference after a meeting with European Council head Charles Michel in Warsaw.

“Migrants found other ways through Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey to continue migrating to Belarus,” Dizayee said, adding: “The migrants are going toward an unknown destiny, and the photos we see from the borders of Belarus, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia are catastrophic.”

“The migrants are not only Kurds from the region, but include people from the rest of Iraq, neighbouring countries, and Afghanistan.”

Belarus warned Poland on Tuesday against orchestrating "provocations" along their shared border and denied Warsaw's claims it was behind an unprecedented wave of migrants attempting to cross into the EU country.

Poland this week said it had blocked a bid by hundreds of migrants to enter from Belarus and warned of an "armed" escalation with thousands more massed near the border.