Cyprus meeting calls for better migrant checks on borders

Ministers of interior and immigration of Italy, Spain, Greece, Malta and Cyprus on Saturday called for enhanced surveillance of external European Union (EU) borders to check irregular immigration.

In a declaration issued following the end of a two-day meeting held in the western Cypriot city of Paphos, the ministers of the so-called MED5 group, consisting of the five Mediterranean and southern EU member states, drew special attention to the surveillance of the United Nations-controlled Green Line in Cyprus.

Ministers called for a balanced approach in negotiations to achieve a “truly common (European) system of asylum and migration management” so as to reach a migration policy aimed at a “holistic approach for the effective management of asylum and migration.”

In relation to the Green Line in Cyprus, the MED5 ministers called for adequate management “due to the specific circumstances that apply, despite the fact that the Green Line is not an external border of the EU.”

Cypriot Interior Minister Nicos Nouris, who hosted the meeting, said asylum seekers make up 4 percent of the country’s population. ■

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