Cypriot authorities managed to return 3,500 irregular immigrants in the first half of 2022, placing Cyprus as the top EU country in migrant send backs compared to its population, said Interior Minister Nicos Nouris.
But he noted that during the same six months, the influx of asylum seekers amounted to a record 13,000.
Nouris said the government is tackling the increased flow of irregular migrants, which put the island on the EU’s frontline for asylum applications.
Due to increased irregular migrants, Nicosia has focused on curbing illegal entry and the return of migrants who fail the asylum procedure.
Nouris has met with delegations from Germany and France, whose governments are willing to receive some migrants to relocate in these two countries, adding that contacts focused on the number of people to be relocated.
Cyprus had also sent lists of 2,000 persons to Pakistan for readmission, while a list of 700 was sent to Vietnam.
“We are in the process of signing a (readmission) agreement with a Sub-Saharan country from which we trace a problem concerning the influx of migrants,” the minister added without giving further details.
Nouris also said that EU border agency FRONTEX would assume the travel expenses for the returns.