South Cyprus wants to change Green Line rules that will stop migrant flow from north Cyprus especially from Cameroon and Nigeria

The government of south Cyprus is making plans to change part of the 2004 Green Line Regulation to stop the increased migration flows from the north of Cyprus.

The plan was discussed at a House institution committee meeting on Wednesday. 

Speaking at the meeting, south Cyprus Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides explained the measures being taken to better control migration and noted that two thirds of migrants coming in were crossing from the north of Cyprus.

We need to improve the procedures, whether they are judicial, or involve expulsion and return, he said.

He said the Green Line Regulation needed to be made more restrictive for third-country nationals to cross. 

The committee heard that the main problem was with the arrival of irregular migrants from Africa, and especially from countries such as Cameroon and Nigeria, who arrive by air in the north Cyprus from Turkey.

Petrides noted that other migrants were taking advantage of the 90-day return period to claim asylum.

The committee agreed that more restrictive measures were needed, and it was decided to continue discussions behind closed doors so that more confidential details can be given to them as to the extent of the problem and how it was being dealt with.

***The EU regulation sets out the terms under which persons and goods can cross the Green Line between the two sides. 

Third-country nationals are allowed to cross if they legally reside in the north. There is nothing then to stop them applying for asylum once they are in the Republic.

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