Europol has reaffirmed its pledge to continue supporting Cyprus and its efforts to combat illegal migration networks, fake marriages and terrorism as it sees the country as central to EU security.
During a meeting with Minister of the Interior Nicos Nouris and Justice Minister George Savvides on Tuesday, Europol’s Executive Director Catherine De Bolle pointed out that Cyprus is a key partner in the EU’s fight against terrorism.
That is why she had a discussion with the Cypriot ministers on “matters of Cyprus national security which may have an impact on the security of the European Union as a whole. That is why the Cyprus Republic needs to join forces with Europol”.
Describing the meeting with De Bolle and her team as very useful, Savvides said the purpose of the meeting was to further enhance co-operation between the two authorities.
“To strengthen our country’s ability to deal with issues related to state security, combating cross-border crime, terrorism, organized crime, cybercrime, and issues related to irregular migration”.
Savvides added: “Cyprus is a ‘front line’ country and is receiving the highest number of irregular migrants and refugees in correlation with other European countries in the Mediterranean Sea. We have exchanged views on the matter with Ms De Bolle and discussed the challenges we are called to take on”.
As he noted, Turkey’s role in reducing migrant waves and cooperation with all EU member states, including the Republic of Cyprus was also discussed.
Nouris said that Cyprus needs all the help it can get from Europol in dealing with “the very large flows of uncontrolled migration by sea and along the buffer zone in Cyprus”.
De Boelle also met Chief of Police Kypros Michaelides who said that Cyprus needed EU solidarity in combatting irregular migration.
Michaelides also referred to challenges being faced in the field of security, citing the need to combat cross-border crime, human trafficking and the threat of terrorism.