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Cyprus president wants the European Union to discuss designating Syria safe zones for refugees

By MENELAOS HADJICOSTIS
Associated Press

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The president of Cyprus says the European Union won’t serve its own best interests if it doesn’t consider designating some parts of Syria as safe zones so refugees and migrants can be repatriated there. President Nikos Christodoulides said that Cyprus is working with like-minded EU member nations to start a discussion about that goal in order to help alleviate the pressure that Mediterranean countries receiving the most migrants are under. Christodoulides spoke after talks with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who said Germany understands the burden that Cyprus is under from people-smuggling. Although 37% fewer migrants reached Cyprus last year, official figures show migrant arrivals by boat from Syria and Lebanon increased 355%.

Article Topic Follows: AP National News

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Associated Press

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