Nearly two dozen members of Cypriot special security forces have been deployed to Greece’s Evros region to assist in a pushback of undocumented migrants, with reports saying the situation was calmer after a tense weekend.
Local media reported that 22 Greek Cypriot security officers flew to Greece on Sunday evening in a C-130 to join forces with their Greek counterparts and other locals elements who were patrolling the Evros region, also known as Meric.
According to Kathimerini Cyprus, 16 members of the SWAT team and 5 law enforcement immigration officers were included in the group that took off on Sunday evening around 8pm with full gear. The plane landed later in the night in Alexandroupoli.
There were numerous reports over the use of tear gas from both Greek and Turkish forces, while local media said the situation was calm after a tense weekend
The government in the Republic of Cyprus said more officers could be on the way if requested by Greek authorities or through FRONTEX, Europe’s border and coast guard agency.
Government spokesman Kyriacos Kousios, according to the Cyprus News Agency, said President Nicos Anastasiades spoke with Greek Prime Minsiter Kyriacos Mitsotakis, informing him of Cyprus’ readiness “to protect Greece’s borders, which are also Europe’s borders.”
Greece has been taking a tough stance on uncommented migrants at the border with Turkey, following Ankara’s decision to stop preventing refugees from moving westwards.
Greek security forces have already been receiving assistance from local villages, who are familiar with the territory, according to reports.
There were numerous reports over the use of tear gas from both Greek and Turkish forces, especially during an escalation on Saturday, while local media said the situation was calm after a tense weekend.
Latest reports said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was expected in Brussels on Monday where talks will take place on migration and other issues.
CNA said Erdogan has called on Greece to allow refugees to pass through the country as they sought asylum in northern Europe.