Tajik Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin on May14 met with Iraqi Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hazim Ahmad Mahmoud al-Yusufi, according to the Tajik MFA information department.

The two reportedly discussed the possibility of repatriation of Tajik nationals from Iraq.  

During the meeting, Tajik minister expressed gratitude to the Iraqi Government for assistance in repatriation of Tajik children from Iraq.  

Sirojiddin Muhriddin and Hazim Ahmad Mahmoud al-Yusufi expressed readiness to continue the discussion of the issue of repatriation of the remaining Tajik citizens from Iraq. 

They also exchanged views on state and prospects of further expansion of bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and Iraq.

Recall, 84 children whose Tajik mothers are imprisoned in Iraq under charges of belonging to the Islamic State (IS) terror group were brought home on April 30 this year.

Returning children are undergoing medical check-ups and receiving any necessary medical treatments and vaccinations.  Trained psychologists and teachers are working with children to help them to adapt to their new life in Tajikistan.

All in all there are reportedly 43 Tajik mothers serving time in Iraq, with 95 children between them.  11 Tajik children will remain for now in Iraqi prisons and negotiations on returning them home are under way.

According to data from the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) of Tajikistan, some 1,900 people from Tajikistan have left for Iraq and Syria since 2014 to join the IS terror group.  More than 1,700 of them have reportedly been put on the international wanted list.  Some 500 Tajiks were reportedly killed in armed conflicts in Middle East and more than 700 others were detained.  Besides, many Tajik nationals have reportedly joined extremists group in Afghanistan and Pakistan.         

More than 100 people in total, including families with children, have reportedly returned from the conflict zone -- both before and after the amnesty was offered in 2015.

Some were convicted of being mercenaries or recruiting for foreign terrorist organizations.  Most, however, have reportedly reintegrated into society under the watchful eyes of authorities, including security services and neighborhood committees.

Tajik authorities in 2015 offered an amnesty to those who voluntarily returned and renounced violence, seeing it as an opportunity to warn citizens of the dangers of joining ranks with radical Islam.