Lebanese Delegation in Cyprus to Solve Immigrants' Issue
A two-member Lebanese delegation from the ministry of immigrant affairs is due to arrive in Nicosia on Tuesday to solve the issue of 226 illegal immigrants being held in Cyprus, reported Iran News Agency (IRNA), citing Cyprus News Agency.
There are differences between the two countries as to whether or not the illegal immigrants, mainly Iraqis and Kurds, rescued after their boat sank off Cyprus' western coast last week came from Lebanon, Cyprus news agency CNA reported.
Cyprus Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou told CNA that the two high-ranking officials would be having talks on the issue with the relevant local authorities.
Cyprus and Lebanon have signed an agreement in 1999 saying that illegal immigrants showing up on their shores must be returned if there is evidence proving the port from which they left, said IRNA.
Christodoulou said the government has indisputable evidence that the boat carrying the illegal immigrants had sailed from a Lebanese port.
The illegal immigrants, who are still on a boat in the southern coastal town of Limassol, were saved from drowning on September 13th when their boat sank off the island's western shores, added the agency.
In its earlier reports, CNA had wrongly said that the illegal immigrants were Iranians, but police sources in Cyprus clarified to IRNA that the immigrants were mainly Iraqis, Kurds of Iraqi origin and some other Arabs - Albawaba.com
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