House President and Disy party leader Annita Demetriou has called for Syria to be classed as a safe country, so that Cyprus can send back Syrian asylum seekers.

In a letter sent to the leader of the European People’s Party Manfred Weber which was published on Wednesday, Demetriou said she and her party were concerned about the developments unfolding in the Middle East, and the impact it would have on Cyprus’ migration.

“We are particularly worried about the ripple effects that a potential spread of the war could have on Cyprus and other European countries of first entry, and ultimately for the entire EU, especially when it comes to the issue of migration.”

Demetriou expressed the “firm belief” that reclassifying Syria as a safe country “will play a pivotal role in defusing the current challenges faced by the EU Countries of first entry”. As such, it can prevent potential new migration crises.

She said it was worth noting that the EU Asylum Agency has already recognised two areas in Syria as safe.

Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou undertook an initiative last year, aimed at reconsidering Syria’s classification as a safe country, with the aim to enable the repatriation of Syrian asylum-seekers.

In the past week alone, both Israel and the US have carried out strikes against Syria, which has been hit by rockets and drones.

Last month, both of Syria’s airports were left out of service after Israeli bombardments hit the airports in Damascus and Aleppo, according to Syrian state media.

Meanwhile, Akel’s general secretary Stefanos Stefanou met with Syria’s Charge d’Affaires Dr Ammar Awad on Thursday where they discussed the humanitarian suffering in Gaza.

Stefanou condemned the attacks by Israel and the USA against Syria, saying this added to the suffering of the Syrian people and “burden the already explosive situation in the region”.