The EC draft regulation on illegal migration offers a ray of hope, says Interior Minister Nouris

A draft regulation from the European Commission offers a ray of hope, as the Republic of Cyprus has no other option but to proceed with measures to halt access to the government controlled areas from the Green Line, said the Minister of Interior Nikos Nouris.

Nouris’ remarks on the latest developments concerning illegal immigration from the Turkish occupied north, were made on Sunday during the memorial service of EOKA Liberation struggle hero Panagiotis Toumazou, held at the Agia Paraskevi church in Episkopi, Limassol.

Nouris said for 48 years Turkey has been trying to colonize the occupied part of our country and in the recent months authorities have been witnessing yet another methodical and heinous crime, “the quasi-‘colonization’ of the territories controlled by the Republic of Cyprus, through the daily, systematic and guided advancement of thousands of irregular migrants via the Green Line”.

He urged everyone to realise that the enemy is present and there is no room for exploitation of the issue by political parties to gain votes as every action should aim to serve the interests of the country.

Recalling that Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain are sounding the alarm because the percentage of asylum seekers in their countries reached 1% of the population, he wondered what we should do, since our own percentage has reached 6%.

The minister said the new illegal invasion of populations into the free areas is yet another illegal action by Turkey, aimed at the demographic alteration and alienation of our country and that the Turks are still seeking to cause economic, social and political problems.

Nouris said the government will not hesitate to support those who really need help, however these people are not refugees but economic migrants who are named students by the illegal regime before being pushed to the government controlled areas.

The Interior Minister described as a “ray of optimism” the recent draft Regulation of the European Commission that officially recognizes, for the first time, the right to prevent irregular migrants from entering the Republic through the Green Line, clarifying that this is not the external border.

And it is, he continued, for this reason “that having no other choice we are going ahead with measures to halt access from the Green Line, because the government cannot remain complacent in the face of these threats. “We denounce actions that contravene international law and Security Council resolutions,” he said.

The minister further reminded that President Nicos Anastasiades has repeatedly urged Turkish Cypriots to break off from Ankara and together reap the benefits offered by Cyprus’ European perspective in a reunited and independent country, free from any dependencies.

Minister Nouris, who participated in the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, has underlined Turkey’s role in the trafficking of irregular immigrants noting that the aid of 200 million euro, which is planned for Turkey for the security of its external borders, should only be given under certain conditions.

In a written statement last week, the Minister noted that the conditions concern Turkey’s compliance with the EU visa program, the control of illegal departures from its southern coasts, the control of transfer passengers from Istanbul to the Turkish occupied territories of Cyprus and the termination of fake student visas.

He added that an informal document was submitted with the proposal to amend the asylum procedure so as to end the exploitation of migrants and the loss of life at sea, to combat traffickers and reduce flows.

Source: Cyprus News Agency