Syrian refugees arrive in Lebanon earlier this year after fleeing their homes in western Syria. The number of Syrian refugees has passed 2.563 million. UNHCR/A.McConnell
Syrian refugees arrive in Lebanon earlier this year after fleeing their homes in western Syria. The number of Syrian refugees has passed 2.563 million. UNHCR/A.McConnell

The Cypriot authorities are bracing more Syrian refugees from Turkey after 93 of them arrived on a boat on Saturday, a government minister said on Monday.

Syrian refugees arrive in Lebanon earlier this year after fleeing their homes in western Syria. The number of Syrian refugees has passed 2.563 million. UNHCR/A.McConnell
Syrian refugees arrive in Lebanon earlier this year after fleeing their homes in western Syria. The number of Syrian refugees has passed 2.563 million. UNHCR/A.McConnell
Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos told state radio that the authorities have reliable information about preparations for another boat with refugees to sail for the Cypriot coasts in a week.

“We know that about 700 Syrian refugees have gathered in Mersin and are looking for boats to bring them to Cyprus. Our information is that another boat will put to sea possibly this week,” Hasikos said.

He added that Cypriot authorities know that behind the boat loads with Syrian refugees is a trafficker whose identity is known to international agencies involved with refugees.

Syrians who gather in the southern Turkish city port of Mersin are a special case in which they are not planning to use Cyprus as a stepping stone to other European countries.

Hasikos said they are mostly people who have either relatives or friends living in Cyprus for many years and expect to help them settle on the eastern Mediterranean island.

Five boats with Syrian refugees arrived on the northwestern coast of Cyprus last year and one so far this year.

The boat was spotted about eight nautical miles off the coast and was helped in a fishing boat by a Cypriot patrol boat overnight on Saturday.

Refugees said the traffickers went back to Turkey on a second boat which made the trip up to the territorial waters of Cyprus.

The traffickers plan to reach the areas in the northwest which are controlled by the Cypriot government, to avoid confronting with the Turkish military.

Turkish troops control about 350 kilometers of Cyprus’s northern coast, which is part of the territory occupied by Turkey in a 1974 military operation in response to a coup engineered by the military rulers of Greece at the time. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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