Cyprus rejected a total of 6,800 asylum applications by June 30 this year while 5,500 new ones were submitted for processing, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said on Thursday.
He was briefing the House Interior Committee on the Mediterranean island’s main challenge as regards migration which is the growing numbers of asylum applicants.
He also said that very few of the rejected applicants appear to have returned to their country of origin mainly because most of them have come from Turkey.
Ankara does not accept them back because it refuses to recognize the Republic of Cyprus – territory of which is still under its occupation following a 1974 invasion.
Another reason that seems to contribute to their prolonged stay in Cyprus is the fact that they submit asylum applications. And this means that no repatriation is allowed.
Moreover, difficulties in the expulsion of foreigners also arise from the fact that some countries from which they had departed have not signed a repatriation agreement with Cyprus.