Cyprus hosting regional Ministerial Meeting on immigration

A Ministerial Meeting, with the participation of officials from eight EU countries, which will focus on the external dimension of immigration, with an emphasis on the issue of Syria, is taking place in Nicosia on 17 May, at Cyprus' initiative.

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of the Interior, Ministers and officials from Greece, the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Denmark, Italy and Malta will attend the Summit, which will be chaired by Cyprus' Interior Minister, Constantinos Ioannou.

During the Meeting, participants will discuss immigration focusing on its external  dimension perspective and will examine ways to promote realistic measures to address the serious challenges of immigration. The Meeting is also expected to deal with the provision of technical and financial support to neighbouring third countries, recognizing their important role and contribution in stopping migration flows to the EU.

In this context and taking into account that Lebanon is called upon to manage serious social, economic and political problems, due to the large number of Syrian nationals who are currently on its territory, the Minister of the Interior will highlight the need for the European Union to provide substantial aid to Lebanon, along the lines of the agreements with Egypt and Tunisia.

Ioannou will refer to the recent joint visit of the President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulides, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, to Lebanon and the announcement of a €1 billion financial support package to the country, aimed at improving basic services and strengthening the Lebanese Security Authorities to combat migrant smuggling networks.

"Regarding the issue of Syria, the representatives of the eight member states will exchange views on the Cypriot initiative to re-evaluate the status of areas in the country and the designation of certain areas as safe. Although stability in the country has not been achieved to an absolute extent, the situation is clearly differentiated and, therefore, the existing realities on the ground should be examined,” the press release added.

"The aim is to speed up the ongoing process in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in order to allow the return of Syrian nationals, under strict security conditions, with respect to the European and the international Law," the press release concluded.

(Source: CNA)

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