Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides said on Saturday there was a worrying increase in ‘irregular migrants’ to Cyprus, either by sea or across the Green Line from the Turkish occupied areas.
He spoke the day nine immigrants were found wondering in the Akamas and a day after 24 Syrians were brought to shore off Cape Greco and another five found on the Larnaca- Dhekelia road..
Petrides said that a meeting would be called with the participation of the ministries of the Interior, Justice, Foreign Affairs and Labour in the next few days to examine the issue and see what measures can be taken.
“As an EU Member State Cyprus respects its obligations, but on the other hand it has reached its limits as to the numbers that it can absorb,” he told the Cyprus News Agency.
The EU has been grappling to find consensus on how to deal with refugees, but a proposal submitted by the Bulgarian EU presidency to redistribute migrants has run into opposition and may be withdrawn by the current president, Austria.
The Cyprus News Agency said there has been at least 80 such arrivals in Cyprus in August. There are currently 10,000 migrants with protected status while another 4,000 are waiting for their applications to be processed it added. Most are from Syria.