Cyprus ready to push on migration question

Cyprus ready to push on migration question

Cypriot Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides is drafting a letter for his EU counterparts, in which he is expected to formally ask for a number of individuals under protection status in the Republic of Cyprus to be relocated to other member states.

Petrides, who has been calling on the European Union to show support in more practical ways on the migration issue, says it is time to put an end the “disproportionate burden on Cyprus” by establishing a redistribution scheme for asylum seekers throughout EU member states.

“The aim is to stop, at least to some extent, the disproportionate burden on Cyprus,” the minister said on Sunday according to Cyprus News Agency.

Petrides, who made the comments at a public event in Larnaca, fired back at critics who say Cyprus could do better in handling the migration issue. The minister dismissed criticism saying the Republic had managed to prevent a humanitarian crisis and other fallouts such as those seen elsewhere in Europe.

The minister also commented on a recent situation with the north, where asylum seekers who submit applications in the Republic have been first arriving in droves at Ercan airport in the north and then crossing into the south.

“This is indeed an anomaly due to the occupation,” said Petrides, adding that “we are a country in the European Union that cannot control our northern borders and Frontex cannot patrol as in other countries, we cannot take measures taken by other countries.”

Last month, the minister described refugees and migration as "national issues both for Cyprus and Greece" adding that the two countries were working together on a joint policy proposal to share with their EU counterparts and the Commission.

[Kathimerini Cyprus]

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