The need EU to do much more on immigrationnoted President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulidis during his meeting with the German federal president Frank-Walter Steinmeier who visited Cyprus.

Immigration was one of the numerous topics on the agenda of the talks between the two leaders.

President Christodoulidis stated that the Cypriot government from the first day of taking office treats immigration as a top priority and expressed satisfaction because one year later, these moves have concrete, measurable results.

At the same time, he stressed that “as an EU we should do much more on immigration” and noted that frontline countries are taking on a huge burden that they are unable to meet on their own.

“If we really want to deal with immigration, it is not through funding or actions that aim to deal with the phenomenon,” he said and said that the holistic end of the phenomenon of immigration will come “by addressing the generative causes that cause the phenomenon of immigration. That’s why we need to work as an EU with the countries from which the migrants come.”

At the same time, he said that the EU must develop and open up the issue of the situation in Syria.

“There are areas in Syria that we should examine if they are safe and, by extension, migrants from these areas can be returned. Not discussing the situation in Syria, I don’t think is the right choice on the part of the EU,” he said.

He added that the Republic of Cyprus in cooperation with other EU member states that embrace this approach are working towards the direction of the discussion within the EU and the issue of Syria but in general the situation in the region.

The German president, asked whether it is time for Europe to show more practical solidarity towards the countries that face the greatest migration burden, acknowledged the great challenge that Cyprus faces in terms of migration. He also mentioned that Cyprus needs support from both Germany and the EU. He noted that within the framework of the European Voluntary Solidarity Mechanism they cooperated intensively and successfully with Cyprus and transferred 1000 asylum seekers from Cyprus to Germany. This, as he said, is practical solidarity at the European level.

However, he said that this is not enough and that this is a major European challenge that requires exceptional solutions.

He referred to the agreement reached in the EU Council on previously open questions regarding the common European asylum system. He noted that the goal is common and there must be a solution before the end of the term of the European Parliament in 2024.

At the same time, he recalled the great efforts made for the Common European Asylum System and noted that an agreement has been reached with the heads of state and government.