Cyprus to tighten controls on crossings across ethnic divide

Cyprus to tighten controls on crossings across ethnic divide

A Cypriot official says there will be additional controls on people crossings at nine checkpoints along a United Nations-controlled buffer zone that runs across the ethnically split east Mediterranean island nation.

In a bid to stem illegal migration, Cyprus' interior minister, Constantinos Petrides, said Wednesday that any third-country nationals who enter the country through its breakaway northern third will not be permitted to enter the internationally recognized southern part.

Only Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, European Union nationals and asylum seekers will be exempt.

Petrides said police and the Cypriot National Guard have been urged to step up patrols along the buffer zone.

The measures will take effect a month after the EU's executive Commission is notified.

EU-member Cyprus says it's struggling to cope with a recent migrant influx.


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