On Thursday, August 12, 2021, the President of the Republic of Iraq, Barham Salih got a phone call from Lithuanian President, Gitanas Nauseda.
During the phone conversation, Iraqi President Salih and Lithuanian President, Gitanas Nauseda discussed joint cooperation, and how to strengthen diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The issues of Iraqi migrants who have been stranded in the border between Belarus and Lithuania took center stage at the conversations.
Mention had also been made to the measures taken by Iraqi government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of the Iraqi migrants who have been stranded in the border.
Talks also focused on Iraq’s tireless efforts to facilitate the flights that are transporting migrants who recently flow into the border between Belarus and Lithuania, while noting Iraq’s diplomatic efforts to settle the issue of illegal immigrants.
The freedom of movement and travel between countries is fully guaranteed by the Iraqi law, President Salih said, However, falling into the trap of the trafficking networks threatens the lives of citizens, he added.
Moreover, urgent and significant steps were taken by the Iraqi government to deal with this issue, therefore investigation was opened into what really happened and to know who leads the Iraqi migrants to get them into trouble, President Salih said.
It is vital to safeguard the rights of migrants, while their lives should be protected and their security should be guaranteed as it is a cardinal principle of human rights principles, he emphasized.
On the other hand, it was heartbreaking to hear the tragic news about killing an Iraqi citizen at the border between Belarus and Lithuania, said Salih.
President Salih underscored that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq informed Lithuania to provide information and to give explanations on the killing of the Iraqi citizen.
Iraq is committed to respecting each country’s sovereignty, he said, while calling for further cooperation between the two sides and for more coordination between the relevant authorities of the both countries.