Minister of Migration of Greece: Cyprus is not alone in immigration

"Cyprus is not alone in immigration and Greece, as a frontline country, supports its initiatives"

Screenshot 2 17 IMMIGRATION, Minister of Immigration of Greece

Cyprus is not alone in immigration and Greece, as a country on the front line, supports its initiatives, said the Minister of Immigration and Asylum Dimitris Kairidis, in the context of the Ministerial Summit hosted by Nicosia on Friday.

Mr. Kairides said that today's Summit is important because it concerns a major issue and he congratulated his Cypriot counterpart for taking the initiative to gather in Nicosia countries that are on the frontline, geographically, but also others that accept immigrants and are under great pressure . He mentioned that there is an open discussion beyond those held in European Councils.

Commenting on Nicosia's initiative to review the status of Syria, Mr. Kairides said that this is the beginning of a discussion that should be done informally and with a focus on solutions "and this is what Konstantinos Ioannou represents par excellence".

He said that he has worked closely with his Cypriot counterpart many times in the European Councils "and the last thing we need is the naiveties that plagued us in the past and the cries of some populists today".

"The time the Synod is being held is not politically neutral, we are just before the European elections, the immigration issue is extremely sensitive not only here but throughout Europe and what European citizens and our Cypriot brothers are asking of us are realistic solutions that can be applied and this is what Kostantinos [Ioannou] and all of us are oriented towards," he said.

Asked about the situation in Greece, he said that the picture is improved compared to the high rates last year in August until October, and this is also reflected in the drop in illegal flows close to 80% in recent months and the great decongestion of the national reception and identification system . Mr. Kairides said that tomorrow he is visiting Lesbos which is the front that has received the most pressure and things are better there thanks to the ongoing efforts and a better cooperation with the opposite side, referring to Turkey.

"And at the same time we are taking some steps like facilitating visas for visitors from the other side to change the model of crossing from illegal to legal and from inflatables and swimmers and smugglers on ships with passports and visas with permits and strengthening the local economy," he said.

The Minister said that there is an issue with eastern Libya that they are monitoring, adding that he was in Egypt and Lebanon last week and that the relationship with Egypt is strategic.

"Egypt is an organized state, I emphasize this, and therefore we have possibilities for much better cooperation. In Lebanon we have the familiar issues of a very stressful situation at home which creates additional complications," he said.

Mr. Kairides said that the fact that the President of the Commission reacted very quickly, at the initiative of the Cypriot Government and that there was this agreement and now we have to implement it, "shows what I am here for. Cyprus is not alone, it should not feel alone. Greece is absolutely on her side, we are going together."

He said that he and his counterpart were recently in Delphi and Ghent and "together we told our partners, we need funding, solidarity, a common policy and that's how we will succeed".

Source: KYPE