Belarus proposes a plan to alleviate the border crisis; group of Iraqis flown home

  • First repatriation flight to Iraq since August
  • Many are still stuck at the border and trying over to sting
  • EU says Belarus orchestrates the crisis
  • Belarus wants EU corridor for 2,000 migrants
  • Belarus says would send 5,000 back to their country

BRUZGI, Belarus, Nov. 18 (Reuters) – Belarus said: on Thursday it had proposed a plan to solve the migrant crisis on its borders, which has left the European Union on 2,000 migrants, while Minsk would send another 5,000 back home.

It was unclear of the plan could be acceptable to the EU, especially because it came with notes and wax announced just shortly after the European Commission said it could not be negotiated with Belarus over the plight of the migrants.

But in a potential first concrete sign of a relaxation of the crisis, hundreds of Iraqis checked in at a Minsk airport for a flight back rather to Iraq on Thursday, the first such a flight in months. read more

European countries Blame Belarus of flying in thousands of migrants from the Middle East and forcing them to illegally cross the border over to stab. Belarus denies fueling the crisis.

thousands of migrants are stuck in icy forests on the border. in a cruel one sign of the harsh conditions there, a couple, both injured, told the Polish Center for International aid, an NGO, on Thursday that their one-year-old child died in the forest. It was previously estimated that at least eight people died at the border in last months.

An African migrant whose identity was unknown was buried on Thursday in a Muslim cemetery in bohoniki, in northeast Poland, near Belarus, the second migrant funeral there this week. read more

“It is hardsaid Maciej Szczesnowicz, a leader of the local Tatar Muslim community. “It hurts me that people went to another country . and met such a fate here in Poland.”


A Reuters reporter on the Belarusian side of the border saw a group of 200-300 people, mainly men but also families with young children, wrapped up in blankets and huddled around makeshift fires, in trying to keep warm in near the Kuznica-Bruzgi border point.

Some had set up a few tents, and men could see a man die An baby. They were surrounded by Belarusian soldiers wearing masks, helmets and vests, and a water cannon was on display on the poles side of the border.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko discussed his proposal with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a phone call on Wednesday, their second call this week, Lukashenko’s spokeswoman was quoted by Belta news bureau. Merkel had agreed to discuss it with the EU, spokeswoman Natalia Eismont said.

“The European Union is creating a humanitarian corridor for the 2,000 refugees who to be in the camp. We undertake to (to the extent possible and if they wish) the remaining 5,000 to return to their homeland.”

There was no immediate response from the EU countries, but the bloc’s executive committee previously said: in the day there was no negotiation with Belarus, describes Merkel’s phone calls with Lukashenko as just “bilateral contacts”.

Eismont said migrants would go alone back to their country if they want om: “The only condition is their willingness. We won’t force anyone back to Iraq, Syria of Others countries.”

big numbers of Iraqis are among them who have camped on the borders of Belarus, seeking access and a better life in the prosperous EU of 27 countries. About 430, mostly Iraqi Kurds, checked in for a flight back to Iraq from Minsk on The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said this on Thursday. read more

There had been no other such flights since about 1,000 Iraqis from Minsk. were evacuated in Augustus, a spokesperson for Iraqi Airways, Hussein Jalil, told Reuters.

“I wouldn’t go” back (to Iraq) if it weren’t so for my wife,” a 30-year-old Iraqi Kurd, who declined until give his name, Reuters told on Eve of the evacuation flight. “She does not want to go back with me to the border, because she has seen too many horrors over there.” The pair tried at least eight times from Belarus to Lithuania and Poland.

Meanwhile, the Belarusian state airline Belavia has stopped met allowing burgers from Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria and Yemen board Flights from the Uzbek capital Tashkent to Minsk, Belta reported.

The EU has embarked on a diplomatic effort to alleviate the crisis by applying pressure on regional countries do not allow migrants to board to flee for Belarus.


While some migrants returned to Iraq, others made new efforts to break the heavily guarded border over to stab.

Poland said the song of attempts to cross the border met Belarus over to sting had increased on Wednesday, with 501 individual attempts, including about 200 by people arrested after breaking through when a big group of around 500 made a push over.

In another incident, several dozen people threw stones, injured three soldiers and a police officer.

Belarus said it did earlier this week moving some of the migrants away from the border. Belarus TV showed images of hundreds of migrants, including families, many are sitting on mattresses, who was moved to a large warehouse.

G7 Foreign Ministers group of wealthy economies said Belarus orchestrated the crisis.

“These insensitive acts put people’s lives risk,” said the statement, issued on Thursday by G7 chairman Great Britain. “We call on the regime to stop immediately met are aggressive and exploitative campaign in to prevent further death and suffering.”

Reporting by Kacper Pempel in Belarus, Pawel Florkiewicz, Alan Charlish, Anna Koper in Poland, Charlotte Bruneau in Iraq, Andrius Sytas in Lithuania, Matthias Williams in Ukraine, Vladimir Soldatkin and Tom Balmfort in Moscow; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Timothy Heritage and Peter Graff

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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