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Interior Minister Says He Hopes For EU Sensitivity To Curb Number Of Irregular Migrants Entering Cyprus

Interior Minister Says He Hopes For EU Sensitivity To Curb Number Of Irregular Migrants Entering Cyprus

Interior Minister Nicos Nourris said on Sunday he expected EU sensitivity about external borders in other member states to be applied also in the case of Cyprus, in a bid to curb irregular migration.

 

In statements in Troulloi, a village in Larnaca district, the Minister, asked to comment about a fresh wave of migrant arrivals in the free areas of Famagusta, said October has been “a very bad month” with more than 1,500 arrivals of irregular migrants as of today, all of them through the buffer zone separating the Turkish-occupied areas from the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

 

The Minister expressed concern as the majority of migrant flows stem from Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Irregular migrants are clearly coming through Turkey, he said, noting that the relevant information has been passed on to the EU from the President of Cyprus himself.

 

He pointed to last summer’s Home Affairs Council decisions, which acknowledged the need to safeguard the buffer zone in Cyprus, despite the fact that it does not constitute an external border.

 

Nouris also talked about specific monitoring and technical capabilities, including CCTVs, noting that “all necessary measures for deterrence will be used” since the country “cannot continue to accept and receive this number” of migrants.

 

“We are ready to support refugees, those persecuted and those in real need” Nouris went on and reiterated Cyprus’ request for bilateral EU agreements and return mechanisms, which the Home Affairs Council already included in its decisions.

 

He referred to the situation in Lithuania and Poland, saying that the EU is very sensitive for the situation in the external land borders there, and expressed hope that something similar will be implemented in the case of Cyprus.

 

Asked about the role of Frontex off the Turkish coast, the Minister said that Turkey assumes an uncooperative stance, by not accepting Frontex’s presence in its territorial waters, in addition to Ankara’s policy of non-recognition vis-à-vis the Republic of Cyprus.

 

Source: CNA

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