Over 1,800 Illegal Migrants Arrive in Cyprus in Oct, Most Through Green Line, Minister Says
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The number of illegal migrants coming to the Republic of Cyprus has been increasing, with over 1,800 migrants recorded in October, Cypriot Minister of Interior Nicos Nouris said.
"There is a deterioration of arriving migrants, especially this October, when the number of illegal migrants surpassed 1,800. The vast majority [of these migrants] arrive from the green line," the minister said on Saturday, as quoted in a press release.
The "green line" separates the Turkish-controlled northern part of the island from the Greek-Cypriot administered south.
The official said that all migrants arriving in the republic were assisted by Turkey.
"We have a large green line spreading 184 km [114 miles] in length. It's not easy to control [it]," the minister added.
The government is taking measures to solve the issue of illegal migration, by intensifying guard spots at the "green line," Nouris said.
"We cannot continue to accept such numbers of migrants, who, while respecting their desire for a better future, are coming to Cyprus. Unfortunately, our small country will have to safeguard its own interests and therefore has urgently asked the EU to strengthen guard on the green line," the minister said.
Cyprus has been greatly impacted by the vast number of illegal migrants coming into the country through the "green line." On 21 March, the country issued a press release asking Ankara to agree to an inspection from relevant EU agencies, such as Frontex, the border control agency.