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126 migrants resettled in Germany

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A total of 126 applicants for international protection, originating from Somalia, Afghanistan, Congo, Nigeria and Syria, departed on a chartered flight from Cyprus to Germany to be resettled.

The total number of relocated migrants has reached 346, including those sent to Germany.

According to the Ministry of Interior, this is one of a series of transportations expected to take place over the next months under the EU’s voluntary solidarity mechanism of the EU.

Tuesday’s transfer of the 126 applicants for international protection was in cooperation with the Interior Ministry Asylum service, the EU Asylum Agency, the International Organisation for Migration and the German authorities.

The resettling process began three months with asylum seekers relocated to other EU states such as France, Bulgaria and Romania.

Last month, Cyprus transferred 76 applicants for international protection, originally from Syria and Afghanistan, to France.

Nicosia said the program is designed to support “frontline member states that have increased migration challenges through assistance” from EU partners.

“Cyprus is the first country in applications for international protection in the EU, in proportion to population”.

The EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund fund the relocations.

Cyprus has long argued that it is on the frontline of the bloc’s irregular migration flows through the Mediterranean.

The government claims asylum-seekers comprise an EU high of 5% of the island’s 915,000 people in the Republic – a record figure across the EU.

On average, an estimated 1500 asylum applications are received every month.

EU Mediterranean states, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, and Spain, criticised fellow members for not accepting asylum-seekers under a voluntary relocation initiative.