Nouris-Gminder: The focus is on the Lakes, Pournaras and the Green Line

The financing of the project in Limnes as well as the upgrade projects in Pournara, the creation of the Green Line surveillance unit as well as the new EU immigration and asylum policy, were at the center of the meeting that the Minister of Interior Nikos Nouris and Nikos Nouris had today in Nicosia. Beate Gminder, Representative of the Directorate-General for Immigration and Home Affairs (DG HOME) of the European Commission.

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In statements after the meeting, the Minister of Interior, after initially thanking Beate Gminder for the meeting, said that they discussed the issues of financing the various infrastructure projects related to immigration in Cyprus. He said that he refers to the project of “Lakes”, for which Cyprus has submitted a proposal for funding of 72 million from the European Commission and expressed the hope that there will be a positive response to cover all the specific cost.

Additionally, he said, we have discussed the issue of upgrades in Pournara, which is facing several problems due to overcrowding. For this reason, he said, the Ministry of Interior explained that already with money from the national budget it proceeded to the installation of external fencing, improvement of the sewerage system in the center, expansion of housing units. He acknowledged, however, that much remains to be done in addition to the fact that, with the help of the European Union, the juvenile protection zone and the new medical center have been completed. “But there are issues that need improvement, because of the overpopulation,” he said.

Mr. Nouris stated that the next issue discussed was the creation of the green line surveillance unit, for which the Ministry has already submitted its proposal for financing this unit.

We also discussed, he continued, “issues of the new immigration and asylum policy that are being discussed these days under the French Presidency and of course all these issues come in the light of the Ukrainian crisis”.

Mr. Nouris said that as a country we are grateful for all the support we have, noting that at the same time we recognize in the European Union that the crisis in Ukraine has created problems of liquidity and redistribution of resources. “We want to hope that the redistribution will be such that it will not be an obstacle to providing the required assistance,” he said.

Concluding, Mr. Nouris thanked the European Commission Office in Cyprus under Ms. Zambarta for the guidance and cooperation in reaching all these agreements.

For her part, Ms. Gminder expressed her joy that she is returning to Cyprus and noted that since the last time she was here, progress has been made by our country but, at the same time, the world has changed after the invasion of Ukraine. He noted that the Russian invasion has created a significant influx of refugees from Ukraine and has also created a high level of commitment in all Member States.

“I would like to thank Cyprus and you who made all this effort to welcome the people who came from the war and to take care of them,” he said, while welcoming the many efforts that Cyprus is making to improve the return procedures in countries of those who are not entitled to asylum and protection.

Cyprus has done a lot to increase the processes, flow and commitment of third countries. “I think we can really see that you are developing a model of best practice for the other Member States on how to achieve this,” he said, noting that the EU is in a permanent dialogue with other countries on migration flows.

The European official expressed her belief that we are close to reaching an agreement to support Cyprus in the construction of the center in Limnes, which will host more people in decent and dignified conditions.

Finally, he expressed his appreciation for the very good cooperation that exists with the Republic of Cyprus as well as the EU support to the challenge facing Cyprus.

Source: KYPE

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