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23 May, 2024
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Foreign Minister: Syria's situation key to migrant crisis

Constantinos Kombos sheds light on Cyprus' response to regional crises and efforts to address irregular migration from Lebanon


In an exclusive interview with Kathimerini's Yiannis Ioannou, Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs Constantinos Kombos discussed the humanitarian and political challenges surrounding the migrant crisis in Cyprus, shedding light on several critical issues:

1. Amalthea Aid Initiative in Limbo:
Minister Kombos expressed concern over the recent Israeli strike on the NGO "World Central Kitchen" (WCK), a key partner in the Amalthea aid initiative. He emphasized the need for a careful approach following the tragic incident, awaiting decisions from WCK. The minister highlighted ongoing consultations with Amalthea partners to potentially adjust the aid methodology and involve additional contractors.

2. EU's Stance on Syria:
Kombos stressed the importance of the EU's stance on Syria in addressing the surge of irregular migration from Lebanon to Cyprus. He underscored the need for the EU to reassess its approach to the Syrian conflict, emphasizing the root cause of the refugee crisis. The minister highlighted ongoing discussions with Lebanon and the EU, urging for more interventionist aid strategies and building trust between stakeholders.

3. Efforts to Address Property Usurpation:
Regarding the issue of property usurpation in the occupied territories, Minister Kombos outlined a comprehensive program aimed at addressing the situation. He emphasized the collaborative efforts of multiple government departments in implementing the program and expressed his determination to combat property usurpation effectively.

4. Cyprus Problem and Foreign Policy:
Minister Kombos touched upon efforts to break the deadlock on the Cyprus problem, emphasizing the need for meaningful negotiations. He highlighted Cyprus' principled stance within the UN framework and reiterated the importance of Turkey's role in resolving the issue. Additionally, Kombos discussed Cyprus' foreign policy objectives, emphasizing credibility-building efforts and the country's active diplomatic role.

In conclusion, Minister Kombos emphasized Cyprus' commitment to addressing humanitarian crises, fostering regional stability, and upholding international principles. He underscored the importance of collaborative efforts, both regionally and within the EU, in tackling complex challenges such as migration and conflict resolution.

[Read the full article in Greek in this Sunday's Kathimerini printed edition]

Cyprus  |  Syria  |  migration

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