Cyprus, European Commission sign MOU on unregulated migrants

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Cyprus and the European Commission have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at managing an unchecked influx of unregulated migrants.

Under the agreement, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) will provide help to the Cypriot authorities to deal with a migration crisis, reports Xinhua news agency.

European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson signed the MOU virtually on behalf of the European Union (EU) in Brussels, saying that the European Commission, along with Frontex and Europol, will intensify its support to Cyprus for the management of migration.

Interior Minister Nicos Nouris, who signed the MOU on behalf of the government in Nicosia in the presence of European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, said that the ratio of asylum seekers has reached 4.6 per cent of the Cypriot population following a dramatic increase of undocumented migrants this year.

This ratio is below 1.0 per cent for any other EU country.

The number of unregulated migrants, arriving mostly from Turkey through the northern part of Cyprus, increased by 48 per cent in the last few months, according to data released by the Interior Ministry.

Nouris said that Frontex will help in the repatriation of undocumented migrants by making arrangements with the countries of origin and by paying the costs.

Noting that no EU member state under pressure will be left alone, Schinas said that the MOU aims at identifying and dealing with migration flows from Turkey, assisting in asylum procedures through funding and increasing the number of people returned to their countries of origin.

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