ERBIL — Iraq's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday that more than 800 more migrants will be returned voluntarily from Belarus within the next 24 hours.
"A repatriation flight with 431 Iraqis on board will touch down this evening and another batch with 430 returnees is expected to arrive on Saturday," Ahmed al-Sahaf, a spokesperson for the ministry, said in a statement.
His remarks came hours after two early morning flights brought home 617 migrants of Iraq and Kurdistan Region who had been stuck on the border between Belarus and Poland over the past days.
Sahaf pointed out in a separate statement yesterday that efforts are ongoing to repatriate all those citizens who are willing to return from Belarus.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi consul for Russia and Belarus, Majid Kinani, told Sputnik on Thursday that more than 1,000 migrants had registered their names to return from Belarus to Iraq voluntarily.
"We have completed a meeting with the International Organization for Migration, the first export flight, which it will take in accordance with the schedule, will take place in a week, and it will bear all the costs," the consul said.
Thousands of migrants from Iraq and the Kurdistan Region are stranded on the border of Belarus, attempting to reach other European countries through Poland. The EU, however, has made it clear that the migrants will not be allowed to cross the border.