Cyprus faces challenges because of the immigration problem caused by the unstable situation in nearby Syria and the “Turkish occupation”, Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades has said.
Addressing an extraordinary European Council in Brussels on the topic of immigration patterns in the Mediterranean, he noted that the [South] Cyprus economy was in an adjustment programme overseen by the Troika, so any financial contributions would be limited. Anastasiades, however, did offer any kind of expertise and manpower that might help.
He said that during the Lebanon conflict in 2006, Cyprus became an effective humanitarian centre for the transfer of foreign civilians from Lebanon to other countries.
The EU decided last night, that it would triple funding for search and rescue missions for migrant boats in the Mediterranean.
Ways would also be found to capture and destroy smugglers’ boats and deploy immigration officers to non-EU countries, officials said.