During the night, the Cypriot coast guard brought 263 migrants to safety from two overcrowded boats east of the island.

Since the weekend, the number of people who have set sail from Lebanon to reach Cyprus and thus the EU has risen to 739, reported the Cypriot Radio (RIK). It was said that they were almost exclusively Syrians, including many children. The island’s reception camps are now overcrowded.

The Cypriot National Security Council had already met on Tuesday due to the numerous new arrivals. The results of the meeting under President Nikos Christodoulidis were not made public, but the newspaper “Phileleftheros” reported on Wednesday, citing government circles, that Nicosia wanted to lobby Brussels to conclude a deal with Lebanon similar to that with Egypt. In February, in view of the increasing number of refugees, the EU agreed with Cairo on closer cooperation and financial aid worth around 7.4 billion euros.

According to EU statistics, in terms of population size, Cyprus has by far received the most asylum applications per year in recent years compared to other EU countries. Since the beginning of the year, more than 3,000 new migrants have arrived on the island.

EU migration statistics report by the newspaper “Phileleftheros”