Pope Francis to visit a divided Cyprus struggling under migration crisis

Descargar documento

Pope Francis will be in Cyprus from Dec. 2 to 4. It will be the second time a pope visits the country. The first to visit was Benedict XVI in 2010.

A decade later, Pope Francis will find a still divided country. In 1974, the Turkish army invaded the Mediterranean island's northern region in response to a coup in Greece.

LUISS University (Rome)
“There have been, over the years, a number of political attempts by local actors, by the European Union, by the United Nations, to settle the issue. Unfortunately, no final solution has been found yet, and the island remains split into two. We hope that the visit of the Pope may help to bring the issue forward and maybe find a solution.”

The occupied zone, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, is only recognized by the government of Ankara. While in Nicosia, the Cypriot capital, numerous attempts at reunification have failed.

Center for European and International Affairs, University of Nicosia
“Cyprus government and Cyprus people would like to have a policy that would resolve the problem in a way that the country is reunified, but this is not possible. Even the fact that there is an occupying power, Turkey, which is much stronger than us, and Turkey does not recognize the right of the Republic of Cyprus to exist.”

This division also poses a challenge for the European Union in terms of migration and border control, because the entire island has been part of the European Union since 2004, even the independent Turkish area.

LUISS University (Rome)
“These are the southern borders of the European Union and these are the places where the migratory pressure is more intense. So Cyprus, in that regard, is really the front line of the migratory issue.”

The island is a strategic enclave in the Mediterranean. Not only is it a point of entry into Europe from Turkey, but it's also little more than 60 miles from Syria and about 110 miles from Lebanon. According to the Cypriot government, from January to October, 2021, more than 10,800 people entered the country illegally.

Migration and the search for peace will be important themes of Pope Francis' trip to the island, which St. Paul visited almost two thousand years ago.



Noticias relacionadas
1 2 3 487
Anuncio en el que salen 3 ordenadores marca Medion y algunas especificaciones
The most watched
The latest news from Rome, now in HD and without ads
Download the App on your phone
Available for Android and Apple
3,28€ per month or 32,88€ per year after 7 days of free trial
Available in multiple devices