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22 May, 2024
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Government urges Lebanon to act on irregular migration

President Christodoulides highlights success in migration strategy

Newsroom / CNA

The government of Lebanon should also take measures in order to limit the number of irregular migrants leaving the country by boat to reach Cyprus, President Nikos Christodoulides said on Wednesday evening, pointing out that Cyprus has already taken steps which have had results.

In statements to journalists upon his arrival to the Cyprus Sports Organisation Awards and invited to comment on the rescue in the early hours of irregular migrants off the coast of Cavo Greco including children, the President said that "for the past 11 months we have taken very specific measures which have had results," adding that it is not just a matter of making statements.

"The number of migrants arriving in Cyprus has dropped," he said, adding that those departing from Cyprus are clearly more than those arriving. Departures have increased by over than 60% since 2022, he noted, adding that at the same time we are experiencing dramatic events, "such as the drama we witnessed today."

President Christodoulides thanked the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus for their swift response.

"When lives are at stake there is no other choice and they acted as they ought to," he stressed.

"It is a matter which we raise at EU level but also to Lebanon and very recently we sent a delegation over to discuss the matter with the government of Lebanon," he noted, adding that "the government of Lebanon should also take its own measures because we know that it is Syrians arriving (to Cyprus) but they come from Lebanon."

The Cypriot coastguard rescued in the early hours of Wednesday, 60 Syrian migrants who were in a wooden vessel, including men, women, and children, some of whom were in poor condition and were transported to the hospital for care.

Cyprus  |  Lebanon  |  president  |  government  |  EU  |  migrants

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