President Nikos Christodoulides on Tuesday said he would contact European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, on necessary actions as regards the immigration issue, after the arrival to Cyprus by sea of more than 400 irregular migrants.

Asked by journalists on his way to an event in Nicosia if he was worried about the issue of immigration after the multiple arrivals of migrants by boat, he replied that “it worries us to a great extent”.

He said that the Foreign Minister was in Lebanon on Tuesday, while the Interior Minister spoke to the competent EU Commissioner, Ylva Johansson, and that himself contacted von der Leyen’s office.

President Christodoulides said he would hold a telephone conversation with von der Leyen “about some specific actions that must be taken”, involving Frontex as a key component in order to prevent such arrivals.

He referred to the importance he and his Government attach to dealing with the immigration issue. “There are very positive results”, he said, adding that it was for the first time that such results have been achieved.

At the same time, he said, they were working on the establishment of the Deputy Ministry of Immigration.

He said the Government, has done all the necessary processes so that Cyprus was no longer considered an attractive destination, but that, at the same time, there was the external dimension, which “is not solely up to us”.

On Tuesday, a total of 458 irregular migrants, spotted on Monday afternoon on six boats off the coast of Cape Greco, were taken to a reception center in Nicosia.

Leave a Reply