Cyprus urgent EU appeal to stem refugee influx

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Cyprus has called on the European Union for urgent action to address the increasing number of refugees arriving by sea from Lebanon, particularly from Syria.

The country's capacity to accommodate refugees is under strain, with over 600 Syrians arriving within the past four days. In the first quarter of this year, 2,004 people arrived in Cyprus by sea, compared to just 78 in the same period last year.

Traffickers are offering cheaper and easier routes to Cyprus for refugees, leading to a surge in arrivals. Cyprus has appealed for support from EU partners, urging the declaration of safe areas in Syria and linking aid to Lebanon with efforts to reduce the outflow of migrants.

There are already 30,000 Syrians registered in Cyprus.

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