Cyprus president urges fairer sharing of refugees within EU

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus’ president is urging fellow European Union member states to revamp existing agreements that will require each country to take in a fairer share of refugees and migrants.

President Nicos Anastasiades told the European Parliament Wednesday that his tiny, east Mediterranean island nation is coming under “excessive pressure” from increased migrant inflows, putting it at the top of EU countries for asylum applications in proportion to its population.

Anastasiades pointed to Cyprus’ ethnic division as exacerbating the problem, as well as Turkey’s refusal to cooperate with Cypriot authorities on border patrols and illegal migration.

Cypriot authorities say nearly half of all migrants arriving in Cyprus enter from the island’s breakaway, Turkish Cypriot north and cross into the internationally recognized south through a porous, United Nations-controlled buffer zone.

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