Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said on Thursday that Turkey is the main culprit for the increasing number of migrants to Cyprus.
Speaking during a conference organized by the SEK trade union, Nouris said that the “invader of 1974 and trafficker of human souls in the last years is instrumentalizing immigrants with the sole aim to alter the demography of the island”, adding that this “dangerous hybrid threat against both Cyprus and the EU has amassed 50 thousand asylum seekers in the government-controlled areas of the Republic, with almost all of them entering the Republic through the Green Line."
The total number of repatriations so far in 2022 has surpassed that in 2021, reaching 2,400
The optimistic prospects, he said, are the recent decisions and public remarks made by EU officials who are clearly stating that our European partners are now participating and helping us in our efforts to effectively address the crisis.
This, he added did not happen by chance or through a miracle, but with perseverance and correct and documented presentation of the problem, leading to the signing of four agreements with the EU and its organizations. This allows Cyprus to be optimistic and hopeful that the problem will be managed as the EU will provide support through important infrastructure projects and know-how.
Minister Nouris said the Interior Ministry has clearly defined its objectives which are the reduction of crossings from the Green Line, something that will become feasible only by putting up physical obstacles, and a police surveillance unit which he hoped the House of Representatives will vote into law soon, as well as the use of technology.
At the same time, he added, the government is repatriating the migrants whose applications have been rejected. The total number of repatriations so far in 2022 has surpassed that in 2021, reaching 2,400 while agreements are underway with countries of nationals whose applications were rejected.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island’s northern third.