Cyprus declares migration crisis, calls for EU to help – POLITICO

“The EU provides significant financial aid to Lebanon, both for the country itself and for the reception of Syrian migrants, and I have asked the President (of the European Commission) herself to contact the Lebanese authorities ” said Christodoulides, adding that this financial assistance could not be given away. in Lebanon if migratory flows continue.

According to the Cypriot Interior Ministry, the military escalation on the Lebanese-Israeli border means that authorities in Beirut have focused less on stemming migration in recent months.

Two boats carrying 263 migrants arrived in Cyprus on Tuesday evening, bringing the number of arrivals since Sunday to a total of 761, according to local authorities.

The Mediterranean island, with a population of 1.2 million, is the closest EU member country to Lebanon. The boats arrive in different parts of the island carrying mainly male Syrian asylum seekers, according to Cypriot authorities. The sea journey from Lebanon or Syria to Cyprus takes approximately 10 hours.

Migration is one of the main issues on the agenda in Cyprus in the run-up to the European elections. Polls show that the far-right ELAM party has risen to third place.

Cyprus wants the EU to designate parts of Syria as safe for migrant returns. Austria, Sweden and Denmark are also pushing the EU to adopt stricter migration policies. Austria is joining Denmark to push the EU to consider sending migrants back to Syria, an act currently illegal in the EU.

Christodoulides will meet von der Leyen in Athens on Sunday on the sidelines of the conference of Greece’s ruling New Democracy party.


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