Cyprus has called upon the European Union to reevaluate the situation in Syria and reconsider its classification as an unsafe country for the return of Syrian refugees. This appeal comes after Cyprus expressed concerns about the instability in Lebanon, which it views as a critical factor preventing these refugees from reaching Europe. The potential consequences of this situation unfolding could pose significant challenges for Europe.
Konstantinos Ioannou, the Cypriot Interior Minister, stated his intention to engage with the European Union and the United Nations to revise Syria’s status as an insecure destination for refugees. He emphasized, “We, in Cyprus, along with other member states, believe it is necessary to reassess the situation in Syria.” Ioannou pointed out that the EU has maintained Syria’s status unchanged for 11 years, despite certain regions being deemed safe.
Ioannou highlighted that there are already two areas within Syria recognized as safe zones by the EUAA asylum agency. He stated, “These safe zones must now be acknowledged at the EU level, enabling us to consider deportations or repatriation to Syria.”
Ioannou expressed concerns over the increasing number of Syrians relocating to Lebanon, which is seen as a barrier to their further migration. He warned, “If Lebanon were to collapse, it would pose a significant challenge to the entirety of Europe.”
Additionally, Ioannou mentioned the government’s objective to reduce financial support for asylum seekers, aiming to make Cyprus a less attractive destination for refugees. This decision follows a series of racially motivated attacks on foreigners, including Syrians, in Cyprus in recent weeks, reflecting a growing anti-migrant sentiment in the country.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.