Cyprus signed an agreement on Monday with the European Union (EU) concerning the reception and care of migrants arriving on the Mediterranean island, faced with a massive influx of asylum seekers.

Cypriot Interior Minister Nicos Nouris and European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson have signed, virtually, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will allow Cyprus to improve its reception capacities but also to deport more easily people whose asylum applications have been rejected.

Cyprus recorded 792 applications per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020

“Today marks a turning point for the Republic of Cyprus and the efforts of our government to deal with a problem that bedevils our country,” Nouris said during the signing ceremony in Nicosia.

The agreement will also allow "the effective integration (of migrants) and improve the efficiency of the return" to the country of origin of the rejected people, she added.

Cyprus recorded 792 applications per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020 according to European Commission statistics, the highest rate in the EU.

Nicosia claims that 4.6% of its population is made up of asylum seekers or people who have obtained it.


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