The Ministry of Interior, during Cyprus’ presidency of the EU, will work to complete the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis said.
In a speech at a gathering to mark Word Refugee Day, Sylikiotis said that on this anniversary, “our attention turns to the 42 million refugees all over the world who are either forced to live in other countries or are displaced in their own homeland”.
He said amongst the 42 million people, 200,000 of them are the refugees from the Turkish invasion and occupation. “On this day, like every day, we unite our voices, demanding justice. Justice for all refugees of the world, including ours”, he added.
Sylikiotis pointed out that granting political asylum to refugees and persons whose lives are in danger is a humanitarian right which is safeguarded by the Geneva Convention of 1951.
Cyprus, he added, “as rule of law and indispensable part of the international community and as a country which is still going through the pain of war and refugees, is committed to granting international protection to persons who need it most.”
Referring to the asylum issue in Cyprus, he said that in the past three years, the government of Demetris Christofias has used EU funds to create the necessary infrastructure for three reception centres, to better man the competent departments of the Republic in order to speed up the review process of asylum applications.