Lebanon | Commitments for immigration after Christodoulidis’ visit
Defence Redefined
Published on 09/04/2024 at 08:08

The mitigation of soaring immigration flows from Lebanon to Cyprus are at the heart of the Cypriot President’s contacts in Beirut.

Nikos Christodoulidis had a private meeting with the Prime Minister of the country, Najib Mikati, and extended talks between the delegations of the two countries followed.

Lebanon’s leadership pledged to intensify surveillance efforts on its coasts to detect illegal migrant smuggling networks from the country, the Government Spokesperson said in a written statement.

Constantinos Letympiotis states that it was also agreed that there should be commitment on both sides in the implementation of what has been discussed, coordination between Cyprus, Lebanon and the European Union, as well as action taking between Beirut and Brussels.

During the meeting with the Lebanese leadership, President Christodoulidis referred to the ongoing discussions on a European Union level, pointing out that the implementation of Brussels’ intentions also depends on the result of the actions taken by both sides to deal with immigration and the increased flows to Cyprus.

The President of the Republic is accompanied to Beirut by, among others, the Foreign and Interior Ministers, the Government Spokesperson, the Chief of the National Guard, the National Security Adviser and the head of his diplomatic office.

The Republic of Cyprus will utilize all available tools to deal with the greatly increased immigration flows to Cyprus, Government Spokesman, Konstantinos Letympiotis, emphasized.

Speaking to RIK, he said that the situation is serious and should also concern the European Union. He pointed out that there must be joint management of the whole issue since, as has been shown lately, immigration flows to Cyprus take place exclusively by sea from Lebanon.

Also read: Lebanon | Political chaos after the Government’s resignation and the President’s departure

Referring to the contacts of President Christodoulidis in Lebanon, he said that various ways of dealing with the situation will be discussed on a bilateral level, especially regarding the need for increased surveillance of the Lebanese coasts.

Constantinos Letympiotis reminded that the issue arising with Lebanon will also be discussed at the Informal European Council that will take place on April 18 and 19. Finally, the Government Spokesperson stated that Nicosia has alternative plans to deal with the problem in case the efforts of the President of the Republic in Lebanon are not successful.

According to official Cypriot figures, more than 800 people arrived in less than a week (March 31 – April 5), most of whom arrived from Lebanon.

On Friday, Lebanon’s Interior Ministry issued a statement refusing to “welcome” immigrants “back” as the country “is already struggling to deal with over two million Syrian migrants within its borders.” Cyprus and Lebanon had an informal agreement on illegal immigration issues.

More than 2,000 people arrived in Cyprus by sea in the first quarter of 2024, compared to just 78 in the same period last year, according to Cypriot government figures.

Also read: Cyprus | Nikos Christodoulidis in Lebanon for the immigration problem




Pin It on Pinterest

Share This