Cyprus bracing for new refugee influx

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Xinhua/Marios Lolos

NICOSIA (Xinhua) – Cyprus is bracing for a new influx of refugees following the pullout of United States troops from their present positions in Syria, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Monday.

He said the Cypriot government is worried that there may be an increase in fighting after the American pullout that would lead to another wave of refugees to neighboring countries.

“We are expecting that the number of unregulated immigrants will go up should there be renewed fighting in Syria between forces which would seek to fill the vacuum,” he told state television.

Mr Prodromou noted that Cyprus is already stretched to its limits in caring for thousands of unregulated immigrants who arrive from Lebanon, Turkey and Syria.

Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides, who is in charge of services dealing with refugees, said that the number of unregulated immigrants has already exceeded 1,000 per month.

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