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25 June, 2024
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Cyprus faces backlash over forced deportations of refugees

Legal questions surround Cyprus' refugee repatriations as EU considers aid for Lebanon


The European Union is on track to unveil a support package for Lebanon by May 2, as announced by President Christodoulides, according to George Kakouris' article in Kathimerini's Sunday edition.

While discussions are still in early stages, sources suggest the package will follow the joint visit of EU leaders von der Leyen and Christodoulides to Lebanon on the same day, aiming to address reforms, bolster the Lebanese army, and manage the refugee crisis.

Cyprus' emergency measures in response to a surge in sea arrivals from Lebanon, including the suspension of asylum application processing, have reportedly been coordinated with EU authorities. However, this move has sparked accusations of refoulement, a violation of international law.

Meanwhile, efforts to designate safe areas in Syria for refugee returns face hurdles, given the lack of EU relations with the Assad regime. Cyprus seeks to rally support from like-minded EU members to navigate legal complexities surrounding return policies.

The EU's commitment to Lebanon's stability and support for vulnerable populations, as outlined in recent Conclusions, underlines the urgency of the impending support package. However, concerns linger over Hezbollah's influence in Lebanese governance and the country's fragile state, which could impact the package's implementation.

Asylum procedures for Syrian refugees in Cyprus, including the extension of processing timelines, are under scrutiny, with legal experts emphasizing the need for adherence to international standards. The upcoming EU support package and decisions on refugee returns will likely shape the region's dynamics in the coming months.

Cyprus  |  migration  |  EU

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