NewsLocalFirst 14 migrants to relocate to the Vatican depart on 16 December

First 14 migrants to relocate to the Vatican depart on 16 December

The first 14 migrants out of 50 chosen for relocation to the Vatican will depart on 16 December, said on Saturday Interior Minister Nicos Nouris, who added that this number includes the two who have been living in the buffer zone.

In statements after the departure of Pope Francis at Larnaka International Airport, the Minister said that the Pope’s visit was completely significant as apart from the fact that it shows the significance of the relations between the two churches, officials were also able to point out the peculiarities and problems Cyprus is facing.

He also said the Pope’s gesture to relocate a total of 50 immigrants clearly indicates how solidarity should be implemented and this is what Cyprus wants to be done on a European level.

The Interior Minister said deliberations to choose the migrants began five weeks ago and a delegation from the Vatican arrived three weeks ago. The first 14 migrants, including two people who have been staying for months in the buffer zone, will depart on 16 December. This was done at our request and the understanding shown by the Pope, who was personally informed by the Minister of the Interior himself and by a letter Nouris had sent.

The Minister said the Pope was informed of the political problem created by the presence of the two migrants in the buffer zone and the request to relocate them was accepted.

He expressed gratitude because the Pope’s actions “clearly show how solidarity between states that face such serious problems, should be implemented.”

Invited to comment on the 46 Syrian migrants who were spotted on the Nicosia-Larnaca highway overnight, the Minister replied that an additional 81 persons had arrived last night. It is no coincidence that the President of the Republic of Cyprus has sent a letter last month to the President of the European Commission, “clearly indicating that our country is now in a very difficult situation”.

It is one of the issues we put forward to the Pope, that this small divided country is facing a very serious and huge problem with the migration crisis, he added. We hope and look forward to continued contact and influence by the Pope to further help the Republic of Cyprus, he added.

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