Cyprus takes in 29 Syrian migrants departing from Lebanon

October 20, 2018 - 5:41 am

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cypriot police say most of the 29 Syrian migrants who have arrived to the Mediterranean island after setting sail from Lebanon told authorities they have relatives living on Cyprus.

Police said Saturday that the migrants, including five women, nine children and one unescorted minor, have so far made no requests for asylum after being taken to a reception center on the outskirts of the capital, Nicosia.

The 29 arrived Friday by boat at Cape Greco on Cyprus' southeastern tip.

Cyprus officials say the tiny country of 1.1 million people can hardly cope with a burgeoning number of asylum-seekers.

Earlier this week, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades told other European Union leaders that the ethnically split country is coming under "disproportionately great strain" from arriving migrants, especially through the breakaway north.

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