EU chair thanks Turkey for deal limiting Belarus flights


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s chairman, Charles Michel, thanked Turkey on Friday for what he said was an agreement to stop citizens of Iraq, Syria and Yemen planning to travel to Belarus from buying tickets or boarding at Turkish airports.

“Thank you to the Turkish authorities,” Michel said on Twitter.

Michel made reference to the official Twitter account of Turkish Civil Aviation Authority, saying that a decision had been taken to resolve “the problem of illegal border crossings between the European Union and Belarus.”

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

The EU has been in talks with international carriers such as Turkish Airlines to urge them to suspend one-way tickets to Minsk, from where the bloc says migrants are transported to the Polish border as means to pressure the EU.

Belarus denies any wrongdoing.

(Reporting by Marine Strauss and Robin Emmott; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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