Cyprus will lobby Brussels to take action over the “disproportionate” numbers of asylum seekers it receives, claiming Turkey has created a new Mediterranean route to the island.
Nicosia says most migrants enter illegally via the UN-patrolled buffer zone from the Turkish occupied north.
Cyprus has had the highest proportion of asylum applications in the EU for four consecutive years.
The Foreign and Interior Ministries are joining forces to highlight the migration issue at a teleconference of EU Ministers of Foreign and Home Affairs on 15 March, and upcoming discussions on Turkey.
Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and Interior Minister Nikos Nouris met on Thursday to coordinate their approach in negotiations on the migration issue and Turkey’s stance.
In a joint statement on Friday, they said: “The percentage of asylum applicants and beneficiaries of international protection amounts to 4% of the population, a particularly high percentage, given that in all other member states the percentage is close to 1%”.
Read more: Financial Mirror