Cyprus Mail

North calls for more cooperation over irregular migration

Migrants at the Pournara reception centre
File photo

The north on Tuesday called on the government to cooperate over the issue of irregular migration, arguing that it is impossible for a single ‘country’ to tackle this on its own.

In a statement, the ‘foreign ministry’ said the issue of irregular migration should be addressed with the spirit of cooperation.

“Our state announces, on every occasion, that it favours cooperation with the Greek Cypriot side in matters concerning our island,” it said.

The problems created by irregular migration, it added, “are beyond the means of a single country to overcome.”

It said that both the north and the south of the island receive irregular immigration from various countries. “Contrary to the Greek Cypriot side, our country is devoid of international assistance and struggling with irregular migration only with the support of Motherland Turkey,” it said.

Recalling that its offer to establish cooperation with the Greek Cypriot side on irregular migration remains on the table, the ‘ministry’ renewed this proposal arguing that irregular migration posed a significant challenge to all.

The government has been calling for more EU support on the migration issue, especially the arrivals of irregular migrants arriving from Turkey through the north.

Interior Minister Nicos Nouris had said during a visit in September of European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson to Cyprus that Turkey systematically promotes through the occupied areas illegal immigrants coming from its southern coast.

He also referred to lack of cooperation from the Turkish Cypriot side.

On Saturday, Nouris said that last month alone more than 1,800 people arrived, most of them through the green line channelled by Turkey.

He said most migrants arriving were now from Sub Saharan Africa.

Nouris said that while the state has significantly reduced the flows either by curbing arrivals of fake students, clamping down on sham marriages or arrivals by sea, the green line was still the ‘Achilles’ heel’.

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