Cyprus Seeks EU Intelligence Access for Migrant Screening

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018 file photo, a migrant from Syria rests at a refugee camp in Kokkinotrimithia outside of Nicosia, Cyprus. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, file)

NICOSIA (AP) — Cyprus’ interior minister says he has asked the European Union for access to its security intelligence network in order to better screen arriving migrants and avert the risk posed by potentially radicalized individuals.

Constantinos Petrides said Thursday that rising migrant arrival numbers — especially via the ethnically split island’s breakaway north — have made the situation “very difficult to manage.”

He said monthly asylum applications so far this year have surpassed 1,000. Petrides said there’s a need for another migrant housing complex.

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos acknowledged that Cyprus “has come under great strain recently” and pledged more financial and operational help.

Avramopoulos said officials from Europol, the EU’s asylum service and border and coast guard agency will meet with Cypriot authorities soon to determine how best to assist.