During an official visit to Cyprus, Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Michael Farrugia met with Minister of Interior Constantinos Petrides to discuss further cooperation between the two countries on subjects of mutual interest and follow-up on previous bilateral meetings.

During a press conference, Minister Michael Farrugia said that Malta and Cyprus are two countries which have amongst the highest number of asylum seekers applications per capita in the EU.

Minister Michael Farrugia stressed that there are a number of areas where countries at the border of the EU have been promised a number of commitments but to date have not been delivered.

Countries at the southern border of the EU need to cooperate and understand each other’s state of affairs related to the flow of illegal migration.

Instead of being reactive to the problem of illegal migration, we are to come up with proactive proposals on how we can combat the smugglers’ business model and reduce migration flows, said Minister Farrugia.

Minister Michael Farrugia added that solidarity should not only be between countries in the Mediterranean, but it should be between all member states. Presently, countries at the periphery of the European Union are currently the only ones suffering the brunt.

Minister Farrugia and Minister Petrides agreed that member states need to show solidarity not only when there is a financial issue but need to cooperate in a number of other areas. More member states must come forward and participate in the voluntary mechanism, thus showing real solidarity with the countries under pressure. In case this does not materialise, an alternative mechanism must come into place.

Source: Governemnt of Malta