Pope to help 50 Cyprus immigrants migrate to Italy after a trip to the region

File Photo: Pope Francis sees a weekly general audience at the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall on November 24, 2021.Reuters / Remo Casiri

November 26, 2021

Philippe Purlera and Michele Cambus

Vatican City (Reuters) – Pope Francis has arranged to move 50 immigrants from Cyprus to Italy to commemorate their trip to the Mediterranean island next week, Vatican sources said Friday.

The 50 will be relocated after the trip starting on Thursday, but for logistic reasons it’s likely not before Christmas, sources added.

In Cyprus, government spokesman Malios Pelecanos said the Vatican intends to resettle many migrants from the island to Rome, but did not provide details.

“This is a concrete expression of solidarity with the needy by the head of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Vatican is the Republic of Cyprus because of the increased flow of movement and the need for equitable distribution between the EU. Make sure you are aware of the problems you are facing today. Member States, “he said.

The islands of the Eastern Mediterranean, the country of the European Union closest to the unstable Middle East, are said to be flooded with arrivals in recent years.

So far this year, it says, immigrant arrivals have increased by 38% compared to 2020 as a whole.

Many are the legacy of the 1974 truce after the invasion of Turkey after a short Greek-backed coup, dividing the island into two parts, north of the Greek Cypriots and south of the internationally recognized Greek Cypriots. Arrives through the porous “green line”.

Of the 10,868 arrivals in the first 10 months of 2021, more than 9,000 arrived via that route. Many of the asylum seekers come from war-torn Syria, but in recent years there has been a surge in arrivals from sub-Saharan Africa.

Francis will visit Cyprus from December 2nd to 4th and will stay in Greece for two days. This includes day trips to the Greek island of Lesvos, home to many foreign immigrants.

With immigrant and refugee defense as the basis of his peace, Francis visited the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos in 2016 and returned with 12 Syrian refugees.

The Moria camp was destroyed in a fire last year and replaced by another camp called Mabrovoni.

(Report by Michelle Kambas of Cyprus, edited by Louise Heavens)

Pope to help 50 Cyprus immigrants migrate to Italy after a trip to the region

Source link Pope to help 50 Cyprus immigrants migrate to Italy after a trip to the region

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