Cyprus calls on EU to accept illegal migrants from overcrowded detention camps

Ammar Hammasho, migrant from Edlib in Syria who lives in Cyprus, kisses one of his four children after they arrived with their mother to a refugee camp in Kokkinotrimithia, outside of the capital Nicosia, in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
By Karolina Klaskova
2 Min Read

The Republic of Cyprus has called on other European Union member states to accept illegal migrants from overcrowded detention camps on its territory. About 4,000 migrants arrived in Cyprus during October and November, Cypriot Interior Minister Nikos Nuris stated. Since the beginning of the year, around 12,000 migrants have come to the south of the island illegally.

According to EU statistics, Cyprus had to deal with the most intense influx of migrants last year relative to the population of all EU countries. The EU average was 931 applications per million population. Cyprus dealt with 8,448 per million inhabitants.

Organized gangs of people smugglers charge between €300 and €500 for transporting migrants from the Turkish north of Cyprus to the area under the administration of the Republic of Cyprus, as Nuris stated. He called on other EU states to accept migrants from the island.

“Pope Francis showed the EU what solidarity means during his recent visit to Cyprus,” the minister said.

The Vatican received about 50 migrants from Cypriot camps during the pope’s recent visit to Cyprus in early December.

The state has already built an 11-kilometer barrier along the dividing line between southern and northern Cyprus. A barbed-wire fence stands in the west of the divided capital of Nicosia.

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