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The issues of illegal immigration and political asylum in Cyprus, were discussed at a joint meeting the Cypriot Ministers of Justice and Public Order and Interior, Kypros Chrysostomides and Neoclis Sylikiotis, respectively, held in Brussels with the Vice President of the European Commission, Responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security, Jacques Barrot.

During the meeting, the Cypriots Ministers briefed Barrot about the situation prevailing in Cyprus regarding illegal migration and asylum, noting that Cyprus fully utilizes EU policies to tackle these problems.

Chrysostomides and Sylikiotis expressed the belief that the Pact on Immigration and Asylum promoted by the French EU presidency will reinforce efforts towards the formation of common policies and better management of these issues.

They have also assured Commissioner Barrot that the Cypriot Government intends to make full use of EU solidarity funds in promoting measures to control illegal immigration and better border management. In this context, measures related to legal immigrants’ integration and the support of refugees will be promoted, the two Ministers said.

Commissioner Barrot has shown understanding about the problem Cyprus faces in regard to the asylum issue, and said that this problem will be more effectively addressed in the near future by several legislative measures the Commission will promote.

Barrot mentioned, inter alia, the establishment of the European Office on Asylum, which will be offering support to the EU member-states and will set as a priority the strengthening of Cyprus’ and Malta’s services in handling asylum issues.

Commissioner Barrot encouraged Cyprus to submit detailed proposals aiming to utilize the provisions of the solidarity funds and particularly the fund aiming at monitoring the external borders as well as the possibility funding with the amount of as much as 17 million euro.

Chrysostomides and Sylikiotis briefed Commissioner Barrot about Readmission Agreements that Cyprus has already signed with third countries, such as Lebanon, and about Agreements that it negotiates, inter alia, with Syria and Iran. Furthermore, they requested EU’s support and suggested in a case negotiates on a bilateral level come across difficulties, the European Union to take the initiative to sign agreements with these countries on a European level.

Justice, Freedom and Security Commissioner assured the Cypriot Ministers that the Commission would support.
July 25, 2008 - Βy Nicos Bellos, FinancialMirror
|||Cypriot Ministers discuss illegal immigration issue with Commissioner Barrot
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