The crossing line monitoring system on the green line is expected to start to be installed from next August, said on Sunday the Minister of Interior, Nikos Nouris and referred to the intention for setting up a special body to monitor the ceasefire line.
Regarding the consequences from the Ukrainian, he said that the number of Ukrainian refugees in Cyprus amounts to 10,000, while the arrivals range from 180-200 per day.
The problem of immigration in Cyprus is not only economic, but an issue that must be addressed drastically in order to limit the daily crossings that exceed one hundred every night, he said in statements in the village of Chandria in Limassol. He added that in addition to crossings, there is an increase in returns, as “we have reached 680 so far for 2022”, noting, however, that this “is far from the 5000 arrivals in the first quarter of this year.”
Asked about the letters he sent to the European Union for its assistance in dealing with immigration and whether there is any progress, the Minister said that he has sent a letter “supported by concrete evidence”.
< p>In particular, he continued, “it is the travel documents of 317 migrants, which clearly show the travel and instrumentation that these people receive from Turkey, since it clearly seems that they come from sub-Saharan Africa and through Istanbul with the seals of the airports, it seems. arrival at the occupied airport of Tympos, the issuance of a `visa` for 60 days and of course the crossing of the green line in the areas controlled by the Republic”.
As he said, on Monday, after the meeting of the EU Ministers of Interior in Brussels, he will raise the issue, as well as the additional request of Cyprus for funding for the upgrade of the Pournara Center, amounting to 20 million euros “so that we can cope in the enormous burden we face today. “Pournara has happily exceeded 3,000 people and of course it is completely impossible with the infrastructure we have to accommodate these numbers.”
Asked if there were any indications that our demands to the EU were met positively, the Minister said that he considered that after the visit of Vice-President Schoinas, Commissioner Johansson and the Deputy Director-General of the EU's Immigration and Home Affairs, Beate Gminder. “Clearly there is a favorable mood towards meeting the demands of our country.”
Asked about the thoughts that exist for the restriction of the crossings from the green line and whether there will be an extension of the measure of the barbed wire, he expressed the opinion that this issue should not be constantly discussed. The decision has been taken, he said, adding that the second phase of the installation of natural barriers has begun.
He added that he is waiting for the installation of the surveillance system, which, as he said, will start to be installed from next August. In addition, he said, “there is an additional willingness on our part to set up a special body so that we can monitor the ceasefire line.”
There are no secret recipes, Mr. Nouris continued, saying that the Government must take all measures, while it was spent all the previous time in an attempt to convince the EU member states politically and diplomatically that “despite the fact that the “Green line is not our external border”, however we must put up “all those barriers and technologies placed at Europe's external borders to restrict these crossings”.
Asked about refugee management from Ukraine, said that the number of Ukrainian refugees, including those who arrived in Cyprus before the start of the Russian invasion is around 10,000, while arrivals are around 180-200 per day.
“We hope that the hostilities will end soon” because this huge burden is not easy to manage, he said. He stated that the decisions have been taken and informed that by Friday 1273 people have applied for temporary protection. The Republic and the Ministry of Tourism have secured 3,000 beds by the end of April to accommodate these people, he said.
Mr Nouris said relevant announcements and information at EU leadership level on assistance that the Member States will receive in order to be able to manage these numbers.
He said that Cyprus, being a country that has experienced occupation and asylum, will support the refugees as much as possible. “We have started issuing the cards” which, as he said, will be the 'passport' of the Ukrainians in our country for the next 12 months, through which they will enjoy all the benefits that a community or a Cypriot can get in whatever concerns medical care, work and education.