Cyprus introduces additional measures to stem influx of unregulated immigrants

Cyprus introduced additional security measures as of Monday in a bid to stem the influx of unregulated immigrants, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said.

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He said the measures included joint patrols by police and soldiers on a 24-hour basis along the 185-kilometer long buffer zone, which divides the Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot communities and is under the control of a UN peace keeping force.

Cyprus has claimed that there has been a dramatic increase in the influx of unregulated immigrants, who arrive in the Turkish-controlled part of Cyprus and then cross over the dividing line, known as the Green Line, to ask for asylum.

They are mostly refugees coming from war-torn Syria, but there are also people from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, Cameroon and Nigeria.

The Cypriot government has told the European Commission that it intends to change the rules for the movement of people and goods over the dividing line, so as to prevent third country nationals from crossing over from the Turkish controlled part of the island.

The Green Line Regulation was introduced by the European Commission after Cyprus joined EU in 2004 to allow movement of people and goods over the Green Line.


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