Members of the EU High-Level Network on Returns will communicate to the EU and their countries the true dimension and source of the Republic of Cyprus's migrant flow problem, which is none other than the crossing of migrants through the Green Line.
Members of the Network were accompanied by the Director of the Minister of Interior's Office, Loizo Michael, to the Green Line in Old Nicosia today, where they were given a tour and explanation of the source of the problem.
"Today, we had the opportunity to tour our colleagues from the 27 EU Member States that comprise the High-Level Network on Returns to see the source of the migration problem in Cyprus, which is none other than the Green Line, through which we receive 95% of illegal crossings every year," Michael said on the sidelines of the visit.
He continued, "As the Republic of Cyprus, and having received praise from both the European Commission and EU Member States for our performance in returns, we thought it was right to point out the problem so that we could explain Cyprus's success in returns in this way."
According to Michael, it was explained to Network members from EU member states today that the 18.5 thousand irregular migrants who crossed the Green Line this year are putting a significant strain on the country's asylum system.
At the same time, he noted that this is why the Ministry of Interior's efforts to strengthen the return sector, which have so far resulted in the return of approximately 7,000 migrants, have substance and significance.
When asked if Network members realized the magnitude of the problem by visiting the Green Line, Michael stated that hearing about the problem is very different from seeing it in person. "It is precisely for this reason that we chose to bring them to the Green Line, because they have realized for themselves that this is what is causing the peculiar situation in the Republic of Cyprus and what is causing the migration problem, which cannot be solved through conventional means," he said.
When asked what the Republic of Cyprus hopes and aims to achieve with the visit, Michael expressed confidence that the Europeans will convey and transmit to their respective countries what they have witnessed today, which they themselves have stated is unprecedented.
As he stated, the Returns Coordinator has indicated that she will forward this information to the EU so that, in addition to the efforts of the Republic of Cyprus and the Minister of Interior, they can become ambassadors for Cyprus's problem.
[This article was translated from its Greek original]
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