The interior ministry on Saturday said its efforts to control migrant influxes had yielded results and these were reflected on the outcome of the EU Home Affairs Council and the decisions taken on migration, which support the set-up of a burden redistribution mechanism.

The ministry which described its efforts for the last three years as “targeted and painstaking|”, said that the 27 ministers, among other things, recognised the particularities of Cyprus and therefore the EU would support in practical ways, the need to create a mechanism to ease the burden.

On Friday, the EU decided that relocations should primarily benefit member states facing the arrival of migrants during search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean and the West Atlantic, taking into consideration the current situation in Cyprus but also the possible developments in the Greek islands.

The interior ministry said that Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Spain and Malta, as front-line countries were expected to benefit from this mechanism as proposed by the French presidency of the EU, either through the relocation of persons or through the provision of financial and other support.

It also said that despite the questions raised by a number of member states, it was possible to reach a preliminary agreement on regulations to strengthen the EU’s external borders and preventing abusive migratory flows.

The interior ministry said that this development was an important step towards the conclusion of the new common European asylum system which would be based on a holistic approach, with a focus on equal distribution of responsibilities and solidarity between member states.

The ministry noted as equally important the statement made by the European Commissioner Ilva Johansson to the Council, that she raised the issue of illegal crossings from the north of Cyprus via the buffer zone during her recent visit to Turkey and that she talked with officials in Pakistan and Bangladesh, which are two of the countries with the largest number of asylum seekers in the Republic, asking for their cooperation to strengthen the procedures for the repatriation of their nationals.

It also said that the decisions taken would be further discussed during a meeting the interior minister will have with EU Vice President Margaritis Schinas who will be in Nicosia on Saturday, June 17th.