Every country must do its bit on refugee crisis, says Kasoulides

Every country must do its bit on refugee crisis, says Kasoulides

The problem of migration will start getting its way for a resolution through the implementation of what the EU has agreed, FM Ioannis Kasoulides has said.

In statements to the press on Monday, following a meeting with his Bosnian counterpart who is currently visiting Cyprus, Kasoulides said that “we first have to do, each and every country, our bit”.

He referred to the relocation of refugees that are now in Greece and in Italy, saying that this, for example, is an obligation of the Republic of Cyprus. “In this way we share the burden as partners in solidarity”, he pointed out.

Invited to comment on Turkey, the FM said that it is very important to have in mind that at least those economic migrants who are not entitled to international protection, should go back to Turkey.

“It is obvious that more than 50% of the present migrants do not come from Syria-were people understand that these people need international protection-they are economic migrants who now found an easy route to fly to Turkey with cheap flights and then to pass through Greece hoping to go to Germany etc”, he said.

Kasoulides underlined that these are the two issues that EU needs to concentrate on, adding that “Europe will go through a very difficult, challenging times if each and every country judges that for whatever is against its interest, should do nothing about , and this is wrong”.

The Bosnian FM expressed his hope that we will finally see a united response not only by the EU but by Europe, saying that it is obvious that it is not possible to find a solution without some non EU countries that are on the route, like Serbia.

“We (Bosnia) are following the situation very carefully because there is a possibility, and this is one of the assessments made by our agencies, that the so called Western Balkans route could change its course and maybe we could even see new route going through Albania, Montenegro and then entering our country trying later to enter Croatia which is in the EU”, he said.

Crnadak said that his country has formed an operational team which is ready to intervene within 24 hours if his country has influxes of refugees in Bosnia`s territory as well.

“For now we don`t have these indicators but we stay in close touch with our agencies and governments in the region”, he said.

The Bosnian FM said that this operation team is consisted of all the important institutions and bodies that deal with this issue in large and among other things, “could go on with closing borders, although we never discussed this, but we are prepared to react if we need to organize and facilitate certain numbers of refugees and migrants going through Bosnia as a transit”.

“Unfortunately we are not in a position to even discuss the possibility of having some of them staying, but so far we haven`t seen such a will expressed by anybody”, he went on to say.

The two Ministers signed an agreement of cooperation in the field of tourism.

The Bosnian FM expressed his hope that this agreement will further enhance the bilateral relations. He also said that the foreign trade exchange between the two countries should be higher in the upcoming years.

Crnadak also welcomed the opening of an honorary consulate of Cyprus in Bosnia saying that these kind of activities can contribute to further developing and deepening of the bilateral relations.

On his country`s EU course, the Bosnian FM said that since last year the country began moving on in higher speed and has managed to come up with the new reform agenda that is implementing very strongly.

He also referred to the threat of terrorism saying that his country is very much committed to this and has made very strong efforts inside the country in fighting radicalism and terrorism.

Kasoulides said that visit of the Minister reaffirms not only the already existing good level of our bilateral relations but also our willingness to explore new areas of cooperation adding that the Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Tourism is a neat example of this.

In addition, he said, the opening of the honorary Consulate of the Republic of Cyprus in Sarajevo is a solid proof of our commitment to provide further impetus to our bilateral relations.

Kasoulides briefed his counterpart on the developments in the current negotiating process for a Cyprus solution and expressed his appreciation for Bosnia`s supportive stance and its active participation in UNFICYP.

He also reaffirmed Cyprus’ support to the European perspective of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is mutually beneficial for both the country and the EU itself, and the regional stability in general. Cyprus, he added, commends the leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina for its commitment and the substantial work done in order to meet the conditions as set out by the EU for the country’s European path.

On the threat of terrorism, Kasoulides said that they both agreed that no country is immune to the terrorist threat and both countries must must work harder and closer together to counter this phenomenon.

He said that Cyprus understands the particular challenges facing Bosnia-Herzegovina, especially with regards to radicalization and foreign terrorist fighters and in this respect it welcomes the recently-adopted Integrative Plan of Action 2015-17, as part of the EU Western Balkan Counter-Terrorism Initiative and we stand ready to provide assistance within this framework.