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Cyprus Warns EU the Island Can’t Deal With Syrian Refugee Hordes

May 23, 2021

Cyprus said it's in a State of Emergency in trying to deal with a steady influx of boats from Syria arriving with refugees fleeing that country's long-running war and still hoping for asylum in an European Union country.

Detention centers are over capacity, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said, adding that he notified the European Commission that the government can't cope with a  “daily wave of migrant arrivals,” The Financial Mirror reported.

“There is no further capacity to host additional migrants,” he added without saying where those who continue to come and land on the island would be kept.

"We are seeking from the European Commission its immediate and active intervention in order to prevent illegal departures from the Syrian coast and especially the port of Tartus," Nouris also said.

He didn't say how that he expected the EU to thwart migrant boat departures from Syria, but he insisted that the "capabilities are there,” with Greece's Coast Guard and the European Union border patrol agency Frontex operating in the Aegean to try to keep refugees and migrants who went to Turkey from reaching Greece.

It wasn't said why there's been such an uptick in Syrian refugees, some 12,000 f whom have landed on the island since 2011, about 8,500 of them granted international protection said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with deals with them.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)

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