UPDATED: Turkey says ready to support Lithuania over migrants from Belarus

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Turkey is ready to extend its support and expertise on migration to Lithuania, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday, after Lithuania accused Belarus of flying in migrants from abroad, including Turkey, to send to the European Union.

Lithuania on Wednesday also said it would build a barrier on its border and deploy troops to prevent the migrants crossing illegally into its territory. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said a large number of the migrants had come from Turkey.

Speaking at a news conference in Helsinki, Cavusoglu said he had discussed the issue with Landsbergis in Vilnius on Wednesday and that the minister, along with a Lithuanian delegation, would come to Ankara in the coming weeks to further discuss the issue.

He added that the parties should determine whether migrants were flying to Belarus on their own, as they cannot fly without valid passports.

Photo: Lithuanian state border guards check vehicles at the Salociai-Grenctale border checkpoint, Lithuania. EPA-EFE/TOMS KALNINS

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