Joint ac­tion needed to IS provo­ca­tions, Cyprus to host 274 refugees

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Cyprus For­eign Min­is­ter Ioan­nis Ka­soulides told his coun­ter­parts tak­ing part in an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence for “Vic­tims of Eth­nic and Re­li­gious Vi­o­lence in the Mid­dle East”, in Paris, on Tues­day, that any re­ac­tion to provo­ca­tions by Daesh (Is­lamic State) must be com­pre­hen­sive.

More than 60 del­e­ga­tions, in­clud­ing the UN, the EU and other in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions took part in the con­fer­ence co-hosted by France and Jor­dan.

Ad­dress­ing the con­fer­ence, Ka­soulides high­lighted the need “for a com­pre­hen­sive re­ac­tion to the Daesh provo­ca­tions.” Re­fer­ring in par­tic­u­lar to the pro­tec­tion of cul­tural her­itage, the Cypriot for­eign min­is­ter shared Cyprus’ ex­pe­ri­ence in this area.

Daesh’s goal is ev­i­dent, he said, through the de­struc­tion and ex­ploita­tion of cul­tural wealth it seeks on the one hand to de­stroy his­toric and cul­tural roots and on the other to en­sure fund­ing through the illegal trade of ar­chae­o­log­i­cal arte­facts.

Ka­soulides pro­posed the cre­ation of a le­gal frame­work on the ba­sis of a UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion plac­ing the bur­den of proof on the le­gal prove­nance of an arte­fact on the buyer and the seller.

Mean­while, the UN High Com­mis­sion for Refugees com­mended the Cypriot author­i­ties for the prompt and suc­cess­ful search and res­cue op­er­a­tion on Mon­day that saved the lives of 115 Pales­tinian and Syr­ian refugees flee­ing the war in Syria.

Among those res­cued were 42 chil­dren, some of whom trav­el­ling alone with­out their par­ents or rel­a­tives. Most of the refugees lost their be­long­ings at sea and came ashore with­out shoes or ad­di­tional cloth­ing.

On Mon­day, the UNHCR said that refugees were placed at the tent camp in Kokkinotrim­ithia, while three fam­i­lies with spe­cial needs were taken to the more ap­pro­pri­ate re­cep­tion cen­tre at Kofi­nou vil­lage.

Ac­cord­ing to UNHCR, “while the author­i­ties are do­ing their best to meet the im­me­di­ate ba­sic ma­te­rial needs of the res­cued refugees at the Kokkinotrim­ithia camp, the tent fa­cil­ity does not, and can­not, of­fer re­cep­tion con­di­tions in ac­cor­dance with com­mon EU leg­is­la­tion”.

The UNHCR urged the gov­ern­ment

to

place

all

the res­cued refugees in the Kofi­nou Re­cep­tion Cen­tre where the liv­ing con­di­tions are gen­er­ally bet­ter and is op­er­at­ing at less than half ca­pac­ity.

So far this year, Cyprus re­ceived 1,025 asy­lum ap­pli­ca­tions. This rep­re­sents 0.2% of to­tal ap­pli­ca­tions filed in the EU, ac­cord­ing to the UNHCR.

On the ba­sis of a pro­posed plan by Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jean – Claude Juncker for dis­tri­bu­tion of refugees to EU mem­ber states, Cyprus should host a to­tal of 274 refugees.

In his State of the Union ad­dress in Stras­bourg, on Septem­ber 9, Juncker is ex­pected to present his plan on how to deal with the refugee cri­sis, sources said. The Juncker pro­posal is ex­pected to in­clude the plan for dis­tri­bu­tion of 120,000 refugees from Greece, Italy and Hungary the three most af­fected coun­tries to the other EU coun­tries.

The pro­posal is likely to pro­vide that France and Ger­many host the ma­jor­ity of refugees, 24,031 and 31,443 re­spec­tively, fol­lowed by Spain (14,931) and Poland (9,287).

Malta will be asked to host the small­est num­ber of 133 and Es­to­nia to 373.

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