Cyprus wants EU sanctions against Turkish airlines

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Interior Minister Nicos Nouris has asked for EU sanctions against Turkish airlines that systematically carry irregular migrants to Turkish-occupied Cyprus, crossing the divide into the republic.

Nouris supported the need for active and generous support to third countries so that they can keep their nationals at home, adding that Frontex should undertake an active role in monitoring borders and preventing outflows.

He asked that this be implemented in the case of Turkey.

For surveillance extended to the southern Turkish coastline and Istanbul airport where thousands of African migrants depart headed to the airport operating in Turkish-occupied Tymbou, who traffickers then direct to the Republic of Cyprus through the Green Line.

Nouris proposed the same action should be taken as in the case of Lithuania, such as the imposition of sanctions to all Turkish airlines which systematically transport irregular migrants to Turkish-occupied Cyprus.

Cyprus asked for a dialogue between the European Commission and Turkey to raise its lack of cooperation with member states on the migration issue.

“Solidarity should include the obligation of member states to accept the relocation of migrants from the states which bear the greatest migratory burden,” said Nouris.

Nouris, addressing an Informal Meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Lille, said Cyprus supports a French initiative for the Migration Pact to move forward.

To break the deadlock, Cyprus submitted specific proposals.

However, the minister stressed that now is the time for decisions because Europe is in danger of new additional sources of migrant flows.

Nicosia says 85% of those who apply for asylum had entered Cyprus from the breakaway north and crossed a United Nations-controlled buffer zone to file their claim.