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EU to stand by Cyprus in matters pertaining to migration, says bloc’s VP Schinas

The EU will stand by Cyprus in matters pertaining to migration, European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas said in Brussels late on Tuesday.

Addressing a visiting group of journalists from Cyprus, Schinas also said that divided Cyprus is under a lot of pressure due to migrant flows from Lebanon and the Green Line.

“We want to help as much as we can…the EU will stand by Cyprus on these matters,” he added.

He also referred to a recent letter by Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades to the President of the European Commission asking for immediate support towards Nicosia to cope with this “emergency situation”.

And he said that conditions in the Pournara reception center needed urgent improvement.

Along with the   activation of an agreement with Lebanon to enable irregular migrant returns and EU authorities are receptive on this.

As for the vulnerable Green Line, Schinas said this cannot be considered an external border, thus Frontex cannot have a presence there.

This, however, does not mean that the Republic of Cyprus cannot control migrant flows, in a way that is compatible with features of the Green Line, he added.

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