A total of 1,172 returns of third-country nationals to their countries of origin took place in January, Interior Minister Nikos Nouris said on Friday.
In a recorded statement Nouris said that the effort to effectively manage the migration issue has been and remains a top priority for the Interior Ministry until the last day of the current government's term.
According to the Interior Minister, in the first month of 2023 alone, the Returns Office has achieved 1,172 returns of persons to their countries of origin compared to 250 in January 2022, prior to the operation of the Returns Office. A performance, he added, that creates the conditions and expectations for an even higher number of returns compared to the 7,600 achieved in 2022.
"This performance, in addition to maintaining Cyprus as the first country in returns among all EU Member States, clearly demonstrated that the decision to set up and operate the Office was correct, and has already been recognized as an excellent move by the European Commission itself," Nouris noted.
"It is through these and a number of other targeted and effective policies that the Ministry of Interior has laid the foundations for the effective management of the migration issue," he added.
He also expressed the hope "that the new government will not only adopt these actions but will further strengthen them so that this national issue can be effectively addressed."