Interior Minister Nicos Nouris slammed Akel presidential candidate Andreas Mavroyiannis after the latter criticised the government for the methods used to prevent illegal entry in the Republic from the buffer zone.
On Friday Mavroyiannis published a post on Facebook lamenting the presence of barbed wire along the buffer zone.
“There is no room for barbed wire in our country,” he said. “We cannot violate international laws by placing obstacles in the way of people seeking political asylum, while at the same time increasing the risk to their physical integrity.”
He said that the barbed wire fences did not contribute to solving the problem of illegal migration through the north.
“Instead, they add to the problem. In the Cyprus of tomorrow, there is no place for barbed wire, blockades, buffer zones and inhumane practices,” Mavroyiannis added.
On Monday, Nouris replied to Mavroyiannis, calling his statements regrettable.
“Barbed wire fences do not prevent the reunification of our people,” he said.
“It is truly regrettable for the veteran negotiator and presidential candidate to express his disapproval regarding the effort to prevent illegal entry into the Republic.”
Nouris added that Mavroyiannis’ post made him wonder whether or not he thought there was a need to prevent the illegal entry of migrants into the Republic and whether he recognised the government’s obligation to comply with the EU regulations aimed at controlling the issue.
“If he really believes what he says in his post, that the barbed wire creates problems in the efforts to reunite our people, then he automatically equates a simple fence with the real reason for the division, which is none other than the 40,000 Turkish soldiers invading Cyprus in 1974,” Nouris said.
“Since he does not agree with the deterrent method, what would his solution be?
Nouris also criticised Mavroyiannis for not criticising the “pseudo-state”, which he said he holds responsible “for turning illegal migration into a money-making industry”.