Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Fuad Hussein discussed on Tuesday the efforts to counter migrant smuggling networks with the European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, on the sidelines of the Sixth Brussels Conference on ‘Supporting the future of Syria and the Region.’
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two officials discussed the bilateral relations in areas of common interest between Iraq and the European Union, and measures necessary for the return of illegal immigrants in relation to combating migrant smuggling networks.
Hussein reviewed the latest measures taken by the Iraqi government in relation to voluntary repatriation to help Iraqis return to their homeland.
The minister stressed the importance of continuing the dialogue related to immigration with the European Union, and supporting voluntary repatriation programs for Iraqis whose immigration requests have been rejected.
Hussein also talked about steps the Iraqi government followed to stop the work of migrant smuggling networks, programs the government works on to have the returnees reintegrated in the Iraqi society, and the role of Iraqi authorities to increase society awareness regarding illegal immigration.
Johansson, during the meeting, emphasized the strong relations between Iraq and the European Union, and valued the Iraqi role in the fight against ISIS terrorist group.
Johansson commended the Iraqi efforts to cooperate with the European Union to stop illegal immigration and its consequences, in addition to the response of the Iraqi government to fight migrant smuggling networks, considering these efforts a model of cooperation.
The European commissioner also indicated the importance given by the European Union to the partnership and cooperation with Iraq, as well as the keenness to strengthen the relations between the two sides.