The operation that saw 169 foreign nationals who were staying illegally in Cyprus deported on Thursday were all from Georgia, police confirmed on Friday.
According to an announcement released by the authorities, all 169 Georgian nationals were flown to their country of origin, on Thursday afternoon.
The operation was carried out by the immigration service and police in coordination with European border and coast guard agency Frontex.
Another 107 persons, also Georgians, were also recently deported, the announcement said, while a similar operation is planned for the near future.
In mid-June Interior Minister Nicos Nouris unveiled new policies aimed at containing and managing the influx of asylum seekers, including a list of ‘safe countries’.
Asylum applications from these countries shall be considered manifestly unfounded and denied on a fast-track basis, unless the individual provides concrete proof he or she is truly at risk in their country of origin.
The initial list of 21 ‘safe’ countries, which may be revised from time to time, is as follows: Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Ghana, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Philippines, Nepal, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Gambia, Egypt and Nigeria.
The list applies to all asylum seekers, no matter how they entered the Republic.