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Cyprus asks for EU sea patrols north of the island
2005-04-07 10:40:37

Larnaca, Apr 6 (CNA) -- Cyprus Justice and Public Order Minister Doros Theodorou said that a number of EU member states have responded positively to the Cyprus Republic's positions on how to address the problem of illegal migrants.

He also said they view positively an end to granting Turkey ''visas'' for entry to the area occupied by Turkish troops and joint patrols by vessels of EU members to control the sea north of Cyprus.

Theodorou said he had handed over in writing both to the countries interested in hosting the EU bureau for the control of external borders and to those interested in assuming the directorate of the Bureau the positions of the Cyprus Republic on control of the external borders in general and of Cyprus borders in particular.

He said a number of these countries have responded positively, since ''they accept the positions of the Cyprus Republic, i.e that Turkey stops allocating visas for entry to Cyprus' occupied areas - because unfortunately this is the practice - and joint patrols by EU member states' ships to control the sea north of Cyprus.''

The Justice Minister expressed the belief that ''the final reaction of the EU member states will be positive and measures will be taken'' to prevent the entry of illegal migrants in Cyprus.

Responding to a question, Theodorou said the ships that will patrol the sea north of Cyprus ''will function in the framework of operations organized by the EU or by EU countries. Two such operations have already taken place south of Cyprus,'' he added.

''Our request now is that such operations are held north of Cyprus,'' he concluded.

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