Cyprus said it will send a team to Lebanon to help authorities stop boats with migrants including from war-torn Syria heading for the Mediterranean island after several recent attempts.
Officials from various services will visit Lebanon “to deal in the best and most effective way with this phenomenon,” Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said.
Cyprus is on alert after at least five boats carrying over 150 migrants were spotted off the coast of the tourist island by authorities in recent days, and the interior ministry held an emergency meeting on the situation on Monday.
Many of those on board were Syrians, as well as Lebanese. Some were permitted to disembark, but others were sent back.
Cypriot authorities chartered a boat to take a group back to Lebanon with an escort.
Lebanon, which hosts a million Syrian refugees, was already reeling from its worst economic crisis in decades before the cataclysmic explosion in the port of Beirut.
Source: National News Agency