South Cyprus wants EU to sanction airlines bringing people to North Cyprus

The government of southern Cyprus has called on EU sanctions on airlines allegedly used by irregular migrants to gain access to the south via the TRNC and Turkey.

The call was made at an informal meeting of justice and interior ministers in France on Thursday. South Cyprus Minister of Interior, Nouris called for sanctions on all Turkish airlines companies which he said systematically transport irregular migrants to Ercan airport in the north who then often cross via the Green Line into the south.

The minister claimed that thousands of African refugees and migrants make for Ercan Airport from these points. After they arrive at Ercan, the migrants are sent by smugglers to southern Cyprus across the Green Line.

The minister in the past stated that more than 85 per cent of applicants for international protection came via Turkey or the north.

Nouris raised the issue of sanctions on airlines earlier this week when an EU official visited Cyprus, who informed the minister that efforts are underway to draw up laws which would take such measures.

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