Cyprus asks FRONTEX to monitor departures from Turkey to the island’s occupied areas

Minister of Interior, Nicos Nouris asked the European Commission to monitor the departures from Istanbul airport to the occupied areas iof Cyprus, in order to address the issue of exploitation of refugees by Turkey.

On Thursday the Minister informed the Parliamentary Committee of Interior that in the first three months of the year the arrivals amounted to 4,793 and 90% of those refugees came via the Green Line. He also said that currently, the majority of the arrivals are people from countries of the Sub-Suharan Africa.

Minister Nouris said that he disclosed to the European Commission 317 traveling documents, as a proof of the route that these people follow, to arrive in Cyprus, through Istanbul and the illegal Tymbou airport in the occupied areas.

The Minister said that monitoring of Antalya and Mersina ports could be introduced as additional measures.

Speaking to the Press after the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee , the Minister said that 680 people have been deported from the Republic of Cyprus, but stressed out that the arrivals are far more and have become a financial burden for the country.

The Minister also said that currently 14,950 Oukrainian citizens reside in Cyprus of whom 5,100 are permanent residents. The rest fled the country because of the war of whom only 2,700 applied to the Ministry`s services for assistance.

The President of the Interior Parliamentary Committee, Aristos Damianou said that the EU should finally show the necessary solidarity to front-line member states, such as the Republic of Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.


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