The Cypriot authorities managed to return a total of 3,500 irregular immigrants in the first half of 2022, placing Cyprus as the top EU country in immigrant returns relative to its population, Minister of the Interior, Nicos Nouris, said on Monday.
He noted, however, that during the same period the influx of asylum seekers amounted to 13,000.
In statements to the press, Nouris said the government is tackling the issue of increased flow of irregular immigrants, which have made the island one of the top EU destinations by population size.
Nouris noted that he met with delegations from Germany and France whose governments are willing to receive a number of migrants for relocation to their countries, adding that discussion focused on the number of persons to be relocated.
Furthermore, he said Cyprus has sent lists of 2,000 persons to Pakistan for readmission, while a list of 700 persons has been sent to Vietnam.
“We are in the process of signing a (readmission) agreement with a Sub-Saharan country from which we have identified a problem concerning the influx of migrants,” the minister added without giving further details.
Nouris also said that FRONTEX will assume the travel expenses for the returns.