Turkish Airlines agrees to restrict migrant flights to Belarus, the EU says

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BRUSSELS – Turkish Airlines, a major international carrier flying to Minsk, has agreed to suspend one-way ticket sales for Middle Eastern migrants trying to reach Europe via Belarus, the Union executive said on Friday. European.

Iraqi Airlines also said it will not fly to Minsk, the Commission said, after top EU officials initiated talks with Iraq, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey to try and stop Belarus-encouraged migrants from entering the country. EU.

“These contacts are already bearing fruit,” a Commission spokesperson said. “Iraqi Airlines has confirmed that it will not resume flights to Minsk and Turkish Airlines will also suspend the sale of one-way tickets to Minsk from Turkey.”

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According to the official Twitter account of the Turkish Civil Aviation Authority, a decision has been taken to resolve “the problem of illegal border crossings between the European Union and Belarus”.

He said the decision to deny tickets and boarding was “until further notice”.

The EU has negotiated with international carriers such as Turkish Airlines to urge them to suspend one-way tickets to Minsk, from where the blockade says migrants are being transported to the Polish border as a means of putting pressure on the EU.

Belarus denies any wrongdoing.

Brussels and Minsk have been at loggerheads since the EU imposed sanctions in response to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s crackdown on protesters.

A Commission official said Friday there would be more sanctions against Minsk next week. (Reporting by Marine Strauss and Robin Emmott Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Mark Potter)

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