Cyprus affected by the influx of Syrian refugees from Lebanon | Story


The arrival of asylum seekers in Syria has increased, and more than 350 such have been registered in two days.

Cyprus has said it is concerned about the rise in irregular migration of Syrian refugees from Lebanon.

Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides on Tuesday said it was “very concerning” Asylum seekers in Syria and refugees had been steadily increasing in recent weeks, with more than 350 such arrivals recorded in two days.

“I understand the problems that Lebanon is facing, but sending migrants to Cyprus should not be the answer and cannot be accepted,” he said after a meeting with the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola.

Cyprus, the EU’s easternmost country, is 160 kilometers from Syria and Lebanon, and asylum seekers from former countries have seen a surge in recent months.

Lebanon, which is in financial crisis, they live 800,000 Syrian refugees registered by the United Nations, but officials estimate that the real number is much higher, ranging between 1.5 and 2 million.

About 90 percent of Syrian refugees in Lebanon live under extreme poverty, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Relative to its population, Cyprus has recorded the highest number of asylum seekers in recent years compared to other EU countries.

About 30 people a day have arrived on the island since the beginning of the year according to figures from the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency.

Nicosia wants the European Union to consider declaring parts of war-torn Syria safe, which would allow the return of refugees arriving in neighboring countries.

Syria has been in a state of war since 2011 after the protests against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Al-Assad regained control of two-thirds of the country, with the help of his allies – Russia, Iran and the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah.

The north-west is still in the hands of opposition groups.

Last month, EU Commissioner Margaritis Schinas said the European Union could reach an agreement with Lebanon to stop the flow of refugees and asylum seekers, as Cyprus complained of being affected by the influx of migrants from the Middle East.

The EU has signed agreements with several countries to help them deal with the migration crisis, and, ultimately, to prevent the spread of the 27 member countries of the bloc. Rights groups have strongly criticized the agreements.



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