Israel and Greek Cyprus build surveillance system along United Nations Green Line

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Israel and the Greek Cypriot administration have signed an agreement for a massive surveillance system to monitor the United Nations patrolled green line that separates the Greek part from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), officials said. defense. The new project aims to reduce the number of immigrants, stop illicit trafficking and provide military intelligence.

“It is an electronic surveillance system that will provide us with images around the clock,” Greek Cypriot Defense Ministry spokesman Christos Pieris told Cypriot News Agency, adding that the estimated cost of the project was 27.5 million euros ($ 32 million). “It will be installed at various points on the Green Line.”

Pieris said it would take around three years for the Greek Cypriot administration and Tel Aviv to complete the establishment of the surveillance system that will stretch 180 kilometers (112 miles) from the green line that separates the two administrations of the island since 1974.

The island has been divided since 1964, when ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to retreat to enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at annexing Greece led to Turkey’s military intervention as the guarantor power. The TRNC was established in 1983.

Earlier in May, the Greek Cypriot administration said an influx of migrants forced it to announce a state of emergency. According to Greek Cypriots, over the past four years the number of illegal migrants has reached 4%.

Greek Cypriot Interior Minister Nicos Nouris told EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson last month that the country could not take in more asylum seekers “due to the heavy load ”weighing on its reception system.

At a conference of the EU Asylum Support Office in Malta last month, Nouris said the Greek Cypriot administration was “obliged to take important and drastic measures” along the area Buffer, adding that about 800 migrants had recently crossed it in the space of 10 days. Nouris added that 15,000 migrants have had their asylum applications rejected but cannot be deported because there is no coherent EU policy – or agreement with their country of origin – on their dismissal.

On Monday, the TRNC urged the Greek Cypriot administration to start negotiations on the issue of irregular migration.

“At the crossroads of three continents, the island of Cyprus is not immune to irregular migration. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Greek Cypriot administration of southern Cyprus receive irregular immigration from various countries.” , indicates a statement from the Ministry of the TRNC. Foreign Affairs. “Unlike the Greek Cypriot side, our country lacks international assistance and only fights against irregular migration with the support of the mother country, Turkey,” he added.

The statement said the issue of irregular migration should be tackled in a spirit of cooperation, adding that it requires the international community to make a joint effort and act with a sense of responsibility and solidarity.

“We would like to take this opportunity to renew, once again, our proposal for cooperation on irregular migration, which is a major challenge for all of us,” he added.

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