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Nicosia to raise security alert to red for Pope’s three-day visit starting on Thursday

Nicosia will deploy more patrols and raise the level of readiness to create a suitable environment of security and stability during Pope Francis’ visit to Cyprus starting on Thursday.

The Pope’s three-day visit sees sealing off roads around the Archbishopric quarters where he will be residing in Nicosia as well as wherever he will be moving around.

The Pontiff who is visiting the island for the first time will also hold an open-air mass at the GSP stadium in Nicosia on Friday.

The Pope will be accompanied by a strong Swiss guard from the Vatican but over 550 anti-terrorism trained police members in Cyprus will also be deployed daily during the VIP’s visit, according to Philenews.

On Tuesday, special vehicles arrived in Cyprus with which the Primate of the Catholic Church – as well as the delegation escorting him – will move around.

At the same time, a total of 211 journalists from Cyprus, the Vatican and other countries or agencies operating in the region have been accredited to cover the visit.

A large number of faithful from neighboring countries are also planning to be in Cyprus to get blessed by the Pontiff who has made defense of migrants and refugees a cornerstone of his papacy.

That’s why he has arranged to have 50 migrants relocated to Italy after his trip but a government spokesman in Nicosia on Wednesday said details on the logistics of this decision are still pending.

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