Because Lebanon is facing a full economic collapse, more and more migrants are throwing themselves at sea to join Cyprus with the aim of settling and living in Europe. Since last September, these crossings have multiplied, which has led many to ask questions about the role of Lebanese maritime forces and Lebanese-Cypriot security cooperation in the fight against irregular migration.
Following the visit of the Director-General of Public Security, General Abbas Ibrahim, to Cyprus, a visit under the mandate of the Supreme Defence Council, the Lebanese authorities were informed of the outcome of the talks, held in the presence of the Lebanese Ambassador to Cyprus, Claude El-Hajjal.
In this context, sources have revealed that the Cypriot authorities have explained that their country does not want Lebanon to become a source of irregular migrants and that it is prepared to support and collaborate with the Beirut authorities to combat this phenomenon. Cyprus said it was ready to provide the expertise but also the maritime surveillance equipment needed in Lebanon to intercept irregular crossings.
With regard to the return of these migrants, Lebanon is obliged to accept only the Lebanese who will be repatriated from Cyprus. For other nationalities, mainly Syrians and Palestinians, Lebanon will not be responsible for their return and will have no obligation to welcome them. In order to verify the nationalities of migrants, the Cypriot authorities will be able to interview Lebanese Public Security, which will provide them with the necessary answers.