Measures to counter illegal immigration in Cyprus will be intensified

Measures to tackle illegal immigration will be intensified, mainly through ways to prevent flows and through returns, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said on Sunday.

Addressing a memorial service at Trachonas, in Nicosia district, the Minister also said that Turkey continues to undermine prospects for the resumption of negotiations, despite President Nicos Anastasiades’ ongoing efforts and initiatives to end the impasse. In addition to its provocations in the Aegean Sea, Nouris said that Ankara carries out provocative acts in Varosha and in the Republic of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone. Also in recent months, thousands of irregular migrants have been forwarded through the Green Line to the areas under the control of the Republic of Cyprus in a regular, systematic, and guided basis, effectively “colonising” them, as the Minister put it.

“As we did when we welcomed the Ukrainian immigrants, we are prepared to offer whatever help and support to those who genuinely need it. However, it must equally be known that we will be relentless with those who misuse our hospitality, particularly those troublemakers who disrupt both the lives of the citizens of this country and our infrastructure”, added the Interior Minister.

In his speech, Nouris also made reference to the position of the European Union (EU), which, based on a recent draft regulation from the European Commission, and for the first time recognizes officially the right of the Republic of Cyprus to stop the entry of unauthorised migrants through the Green Line, clarifying that the Green Line is not an external border.

The Interior Minister added that Cyprus requested particular criteria to be in place before granting €200 million in aid to Turkey at the last Council of Home Affairs, in Luxembourg, in order to stop the instrumentalisation of the migrant crisis.


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