European Commission vice president Margaritis Schinas’ statements on Cyprus’ migration policy validate the government’s approach and the effectiveness of its policies, Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Tuesday.

He was commenting on Schinas’ recent interview with Politis, in which he said Cyprus is “emerging as a European champion of returns” of migrants.

In a written statement, Ioannou said that Schinas’ comments “constitute a recognition of our policies as an example to be imitated,” and hold particular weight in reflecting “the correctness of the approach, and the effectiveness of the policies implemented in the last 12 months by the Christodoulides government”.

Schinas had also said that “as a result of the very serious work that is being done in Cyprus… I think we can say, while avoiding triumphalism, that Cyprus has reached the end of the tunnel. In other words, immigration management is on a much more stable footing”.

The vice president’s statements “honour our country and validate our efforts,” Ioannou said.

He stressed, however, that “we are not complacent”, noting that immigration is here to stay and is a complex problem influenced by external factors and that can change at any time.

“As a government, we declare our commitment to the continuation and strengthening of successful actions to improve immigration data, with the European Union as our constant supporter,” he said.

Finally, he added that he expects the EU’s assistance to be just as decisive on the issue of the re-evaluation of the regime of Syria, which has been an initiative of the Republic of Cyprus since last summer.