Cyprus welcomes EU Action Plan to tackle migrant crisis, calls for concrete measures towards third countries

Home Affairs Ministers discussed the current situation along all migratory routes, taking stock of the urgent challenges and joint way forward during their extraordinary meeting in Brussels on Friday and welcomed the Commission´s action plan on the Central Mediterranean as well as its readiness to develop similar action plans for other routes.

Cyprus welcomed the Action Plan, an Interior Ministry press release said, pointing out that it can be a basis for a discussion to take concrete action towards third countries to contain migratory flows, indicating however that it should not replace efforts for a common European migration and asylum pact.

At the same time, Cyprus expressed concern about the new methods that traffickers use by transporting irregular migrants on commercial vessels, something which the action plan should effectively address, the press release underlined.

Within the Council’s framework, Cyprus called for the immediate preparation on the part of the European Commission, of a relevant targeted Action Plan for the Eastern Mediterranean and especially Cyprus and Greece, including specific measures to stem the flow from Turkey which in the case of Cyprus, continues methodically and systematically to channel irregular migrants via the Green Line.

The Commission’s Vice President, Margaritis Schinas underlined that the Commission has already made a number of representations to Turkey, calling for its compliance with the EU-Turkey statement of 2016 and to ease the pressure on Cyprus.

The discussion on the Action Plan will continue at the Justice and Home Affairs Council, 8-9 December.

Source: Cyprus News Agency