Cyprus and Greece continue to be popular routes for asylum seekers attempting to enter Europe. | Source: Picture Alliance, AP Photo, P. Karadjias
Cyprus and Greece continue to be popular routes for asylum seekers attempting to enter Europe. | Source: Picture Alliance, AP Photo, P. Karadjias

A total of 75 migrants were rescued in the waters near Cyprus as well as the Aegean Sea on Monday. Crossing into Europe along the eastern Mediterranean Sea is still a popular route for asylum seekers attempting to get to Europe.

Migrants continue to attempt to reach European shores from the eastern Mediterranean Sea. On Monday, there was a boat filled with 31 migrants trying to reach Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus in order to reach Cyprus and the European Union (EU).

Cypriot authorities have discovered migrants attempting to enter their country on an almost daily basis as people from Syria, Turkey and Lebanon try to make it to the shore. Lebanon is about 170 kilometers (106 miles) from Cyprus and the Turkish coast is about 70 kilometers from the island country.

Cypriot president Nikos Anastasiades has called on the EU for help. There are slightly more than 1 million citizens on the island, as well as 10,000 migrants and refugees whose status is not clear.

Busy in Aegean Sea as well

The Greek coast guard said Monday it rescued 44 migrants attempting to cross the Aegean Sea in a dinghy. They were discovered near the small island of Farmakonisi and brought to safety.

Overcrowded reception centers on several Greek islands, including Lesbos, Samos and Kos have been somewhat relieved in recent months as many migrants and asylum seekers were taken to the mainland.

According to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) 32,497 people crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece in 2018. Another 15,421 made the journey from Turkey to Greece on foot. That is much fewer than the peak of the influx when more than 850,000 crossed from Turkey to the Greek islands in 2015.

 

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