Erbil Airport suspends flights to Belarus

  • 15-11-2021, 16:39
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    The Director of Erbil International Airport, Hoshyar Ahmed, announced today, Monday, the suspension of all flights to Belarus. 

    Ahmed said, in a statement to the Iraqi News Agency (INA), that "all flights heading to Belarus from Iraq's airports have been suspended until further notice." 

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs identified four countries that allowed Iraqis to go to Belarus directly, and while it indicated that Turkey had begun to prevent the issue, it revealed the registration of about 600 Iraqis on the border between Belarus and Poland. 

    "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken a package of measures to follow up the humanitarian situation of Iraqis on the border between Belarus and Poland, the situation is sensitive and continues to evolve and opens new crises," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Al-Sahaf told the impartial program broadcast by Al-Iraqiya News and followed by the Iraqi News Agency (INA).  

    He added, "The Foreign Minister made several contacts with his counterparts in the European Union to discuss the crisis, and the work of the Belarusian consul was suspended, and the matter came with internal assessments and information exchange with European Union countries and testimonies with a set of evidence, and it was confirmed that a case of granting false entry visas to Belarus had occurred." 

    He added, "The ministry heads a higher governmental committee to follow up on the file and has taken a decision to stop direct flights from Iraq to Belarus. The issue is limiting Iraqis' travel there to a certain percentage, but the problem is that there are those who travel to Belarus through flights from outside Iraq that have provided flight path such as Turkey, Qatar, the Emirates and Egypt." 

    He stressed that "the government does not have the authority to prevent trips from abroad, and we have taken the initiative to move towards countries, and Turkey has begun to prevent Iraqis from traveling to Belarus, and we are coordinating to increase the number of countries." 


    He added, "The ministry has checked the registration of 571 Iraqis in two districts within 8 camps there, and it is not possible to count the full numbers because the border strip extends 680 km and there are some reluctance to return." 


    And he added, "Iraq will make a first flight for those wishing to return voluntarily on the 18th of this month, and we are with the voluntary return and warn against networks that exploit Iraqis there, and must beware of them."