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25 April, 2024
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Interior Minister urges EU action on border surveillance

Minister highlights need for collaboration with third countries after maritime tragedy

Newsroom / CNA

Cyprus' Minister for the Interior, Konstantinos Ioannou, emphasized the necessity for the European Union to collaborate with third countries in enhancing border surveillance, particularly the maritime border with Lebanon. This statement comes in the aftermath of a tragic incident involving the death of a child aboard a boat rescued off the coast of Cyprus. Ioannou urged a re-evaluation of allowing the return of Syrian refugees and stressed the importance of intensifying efforts against migrant smuggling networks.

During an informal meeting in Brussels, Ioannou underscored the need for the EU to take joint action with third-country authorities to tighten border controls. He called for a reassessment of Syria's status as a "safe country" for refugee returns, based on the current conditions in the country.

Ioannou engaged in discussions with Nina Gregori, the Executive Director of the EU Asylum Agency (EUAA), focusing on the agency's new evaluation plan for Syria. They emphasized the importance of smooth cooperation and Cyprus's positive image in migration management.

Separately, Ioannou and the Swedish Minister for Immigration, Maria Malmer Stenergard, discussed the management of Syrian migrants. Both ministers agreed on the need for EU-level solutions for the repatriation of Syrians to safe areas in the country. Stenergard mentioned Sweden's consideration of various options, including creating safe corridors via other third countries.

Cyprus  |  migration  |  politics

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