The issue of migration, as well as the Greece-Cyprus INTERREG Cross-Border Cooperation Programme, were at the forefront of Wednesday’s meeting between the Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou, and the Greek Cypriot Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy of Greece Christos Stylianides.

According to a statement from the interior ministry, Ioannou informed Stylianides about the Ministerial Conference held in Nicosia on May 17.

The two ministers reiterated the importance of supporting countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region, particularly Lebanon, to strengthen their migrant reception and hosting systems, as well as their border surveillance.

Additionally, during the meeting, the Greece-Cyprus INTERREG Cross-Border Cooperation Programme was discussed. Its successful implementation laid the foundational basis for the development of cooperation between the two countries and led to institutionalized collaboration to address the challenges in managing migratory flows.

From the Cypriot side, the project included the upgrade of the KEPY Pournara, with the creation of 48 functional prefabricated residential units with a capacity of up to 10 people, six office spaces, two special prayer spaces, and a storage-kitchen facility. From the Greek side, the project included the procurement of high-powered floating ambulances (boats) and rural vehicles for emergency response in difficult-to-access areas.

As part of the new programming period 2021-2027, a new application was submitted for the implementation of a new strategic project, which involves the procurement of two surveillance vehicles (vans) equipped with radar, thermal cameras, and telecommunications-electronic equipment.

Both ministers reaffirmed the high level of cooperation between the two ministries and agreed to explore additional synergies to increase the level of readiness and response to operational challenges, the statement concluded.