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12° Nicosia,
15 August, 2022
 
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Nouris seeks EU sanctions for airlines carrying irregular immigrants to Turkish-occupied Cyprus

Calls for a dialogue between the European Commission and Turkey

Source: CNA

Interior Minister Nicos Nouris has asked for the imposition of EU sanctions to Turkish airlines systematically carrying irregular immigrants to Turkish-occupied Cyprus.

Nouris who was addressing an Informal Meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers, in Lille, on Thursday, said Cyprus clearly supports a French initiative for the Migration Pact to move forward, but also noted that this will be easy to implement if particular key issues are clarified, an Interior Ministry press release said.

In an effort to contribute towards breaking the deadlock, Cyprus submitted specific proposals while the Minister stressed that now is the time for decisions because Europe is in danger taking into account that it is likely that soon new additional sources of immigrant flows will occur.

Cyprus called for a dialogue between the European Commission and Turkey so that its lack of cooperation with member states including Cyprus, with regards to the migration issue, can be raised.

Nouris emphasized the need for the active and generous support of third countries so that they are able to keep their nationals at home, adding that Frontex should undertake an active role in monitoring their borders and preventing outflows.

He asked that this is also implemented in the case of Turkey, and that surveillance should be extended both to the southern Turkish coastline and Istanbul airport from where thousands of African immigrants depart headed to the illegal airport operating in Turkish-occupied Tymbou.  They are then directed by traffickers to the areas under the control of the Republic of Cyprus through the Green Line.

In the framework of dealing with the matter in a balanced way, Nouris proposed that the same action should be taken, as was the case in Lithuania, in the form of sanctions to all Turkish airlines which systematically transport irregular immigrants to Turkish-occupied Cyprus.

Cyprus called for a dialogue between the European Commission and Turkey so that its lack of cooperation with member states including Cyprus, with regards to the migration issue, can be raised.

Nouris said that Cyprus unreservedly supports the French Presidency’s initiative as well as French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement for an agreement that should be based on solidarity and responsibility.

This solidarity, he added, “should include the obligation of member states to accept the relocation of a number of migrants from the states which bear the greatest migratory burden.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  migration EU  |  Turkey

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