Immigration: Around 10 states agree with Cyprus to declassify Syria

Over 30.000 Syrian immigrants in Cyprus - Advertise Cyprus as a destination for immigration - "Cyprus is a cheaper destination"

File image

The processes and collaborations of the Republic of Cyprus continue at the EU level and with third countries for dealing with immigration, among them the organization by Nicosia of a conference between EU member states, possibly in May, with the aim of exerting pressure on the European Commission to declassification some areas in Syria from dangerous to safe, report competent sources, who note at the same time that approximately 10 EU member states agree with Cyprus.

The solution regarding arrivals from Lebanon is to support Lebanon and change the Syrian regime, while rejecting accusations that they happened push backs migrant boats, the sources note.

"The approach to immigration has always been humanitarian," they say.

For the first time last January, the departures arrived, almost 1.200, be more than the arrivals (737), the same sources said.

According to the same sources, the 70% of the asylum seekers were students from African countries, and the Government has largely managed to deal effectively with arrivals from sub-Saharan countries, by conducting information campaigns in these countries, defining a list of safe countries, pushing for better screening by Turkey at airports, increasing the number of asylum examiners, but and interlinking the system of the Ministry of the Interior with that of the Deputy Ministry of Welfare, so that, once the application is rejected, the applicants stop receiving benefits.

Now they are coming to Cyprus 100-200 people per month from African countries. In comparison, they reported that, in December 2022, they had reached approx 1800 people, while in the previous December it was under 100.

In Cyprus there are also approx 30.000 Syrians and 18.500 Ukrainians refugees.

As for them Syrians, the same sources add that they are applying for political asylum, but they are entitled to the supplementary protection status, as refugees, because they come from an unsafe country and that they are all approved. They noted that those who receive the supplementary protection status, have the right to work, and are entitled to the Minimum Guaranteed Allowance, but now, after five years, as European citizens living in Cyprus are also entitled.

The same sources state that since the summer the Minister of the Interior had been in contact with Lebanon, specifically last July and the EU was requested to provide financial support to Lebanon in order to be able to manage the 1.5 million Syrian refugees living there, but since October , the events in Gaza, and the latest geopolitical developments in the region made the feeling of Syrians fleeing Lebanon even more intense. In addition, traffickers now advertise these trips in various ways, such as, for example, that there are vacancies on boats bound for Cyprus.

Syrians arriving in Cyprus, in interviews with the authorities, are reported to say that Cyprus is not the most desirable destination, compared to Italy which is in the Schengen zone, but it is shorter and cheaper to travel – €3.000 - compare to €7.000 for Italy, which is also a longer journey.

According to the same sources, during the recent trip of the President of the Republic to Lebanon, the leadership there reaffirmed that they would do the best they could, with the sources noting, however, that the country is facing a major economic problem and political instability.

"Pressure Lobby" to declassify Syria

According to the same information, about 10 EU member states agree with Cyprus to declassify Syria, and Nicosia plans to host a conference on the matter, possibly between May 15-18, to create a pressure lobby for the European Commission. to make such a decision.

They also noted the initiative of the Czech Republic for a joint mission with Cyprus in Syria to secure data (fact finding mission) to define areas in the country as safe.

For possible cases of people coming from safe areas and giving false information that they are coming from other areas, the same information states that there are ways to ascertain this.

Source: KYPE (Evi Andreou) / File Image (Famagusta.News)