Cyprus president wants the EU to discuss designating Syria safe zones for refugees

Cyprus' President Nikos Christodoulides, front right, welcomes German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, left, after they review the military guard of honor before their meeting at the presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Feb. 12, 2024. [Petros Karadjias/AP]

The European Union won't serve its own best interests if it doesn't consider designating some parts of Syria as safe zones so refugees and migrants can return there, the president of Cyprus said Monday.

President Nikos Christodoulides said Cyprus is working with like-minded EU member nations to start a discussion about that goal in order to help alleviate the pressure that Mediterranean countries receiving the most refugees and migrants are under.

"I don't consider not discussing the situation inside Syria as an appropriate option for the European Union," Christodoulides said after talks with Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. "The Cyprus Republic, in cooperation with other member states which share this approach, is working toward initiating a discussion within the European Union about the Syria situation," he said.

In his most candid remarks on...

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