Iran deputy FM meets senior Belarus lawmaker

October 29, 2021 - 19:5

TEHRAN - Seyyed Kazem Sajjadi, the deputy Iranian foreign minister for consular, parliamentary and Iranians’ affairs, has met a high-ranking Belarusian lawmaker to discuss the situation of Iranian nationals stranded on the Belarus border.

Sajjadi sat down with Andrei Savinykh, the chairman of the International Committee of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus at the Iranian embassy in Minsk.

In the meeting, the Iranian official underlined cordial relations between the two countries as well as both sides’ willingness to enhance bilateral ties on different political, economic and parliamentary diplomacy fronts, the Iranian foreign ministry said.

Sajjadi also called on the Belarusian parliamentarian to help save the lives of Iranian nationals stranded along Belarus’s borders with Lithuania and Poland.

Sajjadi said Iran’s policy is to offer all-out support to its nationals.

“The Belarusian government and authorities are expected to act responsibly and care about the lives of Iranians caught in bitter cold along that country’s border with Lithuania and Poland, and help the embassy offer humanitarian services such as providing them with blankets and warm food and help those who would like to return to their homeland,” the Iranian official noted.

Sajjadi said he, his accompanying delegation and Iran’s ambassador to Belarus are all ready to inspect Belarus’s borders with Lithuania and Poland in order to help Iranians stranded in cold.

He asked the Belarusian official to tap into all his potential and resources to ward off a humanitarian catastrophe.

Savinykh, in turn, touched upon the close ties between the two countries and added his government attaches great importance to maintaining and expanding those relations.
He also expressed regret over the current situation.

He said some groups tempt individuals and drag them into a complex and difficult situation.

He stressed that all countries and governments should abide by international laws and regulations.
Savinykh said he will use all his power and potential to solve the current problem.
Earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian had spoken over the phone with his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Maki to discuss the latest situation of the Iranian nationals stranded on the Belarus-Lithuania border.

The two foreign minister exchanged views over the predicament of Iranian nationals stranded on the border.

Amir Abdollahian said Iran is gravely concerned over the situation of its citizens.

He demanded that Belarusian consulate officials and border guards offer humanitarian cooperation for the purpose of locating the stranded Iranians and providing them with medical care.

The foreign minister urged the Belarus government to give the Iranian embassy in Minsk access to the Iranians so that the people will be repatriated to their country.

Amir Abdollahian said worrisome news is making the rounds on social media regarding the situation of these people. He called for maximum cooperation from Belarus, particularly its border guards for the purpose of helping the Iranian nationals.

In the telephone conversation, the Belarusian foreign minister briefed Amir Abdollahian on the measures taken by his country’s Foreign Ministry to identify and find the Iranian nationals.

Maki reaffirmed Minsk’s readiness to provide maximum assistance in this regard and to keep in touch closely with the Iranian embassy in Minsk.

Maki also said it is necessary to get more information about the whereabouts of the stranded Iranians. He gave assurances that he would immediately demand information from relevant authorities in Belarus in this respect.

Amir Abdollahian and Maki agreed to continue consultations until the Iranian nationals stranded in the border region are found and assisted.

Earlier on Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh offered some explanations about the situation of Iranian nationals. He said that upon being notified of the matter, the Iranian embassy in Belarus was instructed to immediately pursue the issue.

According to Khatibzadeh, the embassy contacted the Belarusian Foreign Ministry and other relevant authorities to gain more information about the stranded Iranians and to resolve their predicament. He stated that the Iranian embassy in Minsk called on the relevant bodies to help it gain access to the Iranians on the border and to immediately address their situation.

According to the spokesman, given the urgency of the matter, the Iranian embassy also made an effort to directly contact the stranded nationals. He said Iran’s ambassador to Minsk managed to talk on the phone to one of them and that a team from the embassy was sent to the Belarus-Lithuania border to pave the way for the returning of the Iranians to the country. Khatibzadeh added that the team is now in the border area and in collaboration with the regional border authorities is trying to end the predicament of those people as quickly as possible.

According to the Iranian foreign ministry, the Iranian embassy has been in constant contact with the relevant Belarusian bodies and conveyed Tehran’s serious concern over the situation of the Iranian nationals in the border area to the Belarusian party.

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