Cyprus is the first European Union member-country to return more migrants whose asylum petitions were denied than came in a single year, according to its interior minister.

According to Constantinos Ioannou, some 11,000 migrants have been repatriated this year, more than double the figure of 2022. In absolute numbers, Cyprus ranks fourth among all EU member-states in repatriations. Approximately two thirds of all repatriations were voluntary.

However, Ioannou claims the agreement struck by Wednesday EU leaders on new migration laws falls short of Cyprus’ desire for the mandatory relocation of migrants from frontline states under duress from growing arrivals to other EU countries.

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