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Two boats with 141 illegal immigrants arrive in Cyprus

Two boats with a total of 141 illegal immigrants were spotted last night off Cabo Greco by the Coastal Police.

The boats were carrying 92 men, 12 women, 25 children and 12 unaccompanied minors.

The 138 migrants are refugees from Syria, one man from Lebanon and two people from Palestine.

After registering their information at the port of Larnaca, the irregular migrants were transferred to the Pournara Temporary Accommodation Center in Kokkinotrimithia.

The last arrival of a boat with migrants was recorded on 5 April, while there had been massive daily flows for 6 days, with 15 boats arriving on the coast of Cyprus.

Last week, Cyprus called on the European Union (EU) to provide “practical assistance” as the  island is grapples with an influx of Syrian migrants.

Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou stressed the need for EU funds allocated to Lebanon to be linked to improved policing of Lebanese coasts and waters by local authorities. Cyprus is also calling for enhanced surveillance of the Lebanese coast by Frontex, the EU’s security agency.

President Nikos Christodoulides has said that he had a phone conversation Tuesday with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen to request her personal intervention, saying that Cyprus is “in a state of crisis” as a result of the refugee influx.

Cyprus, along with other EU member states, is advocating for declaring two regions in Syria as safe, which would enable the return of Syrian migrants. However, under current EU regulations, migrants from Syria are entitled to refugee protection.

Famagusta Gazette