Cyprus rescues 101 Syrian migrants off coast

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Migrants take food and water from the Cyprus' Civil Defense after Cyprus' marine police boat as they're brought to a harbor after being rescued from their own vessel off the Mediterranean island nation's southeastern coast, of Protaras, Cyprus, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Police said there were 103 migrants, including minors aboard their vessel. (AP)
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Migrants aboard a Cyprus marine police patrol boat as they're brought to a harbor after being rescued from their own vessel off the Mediterranean island nation's southeastern coast, of Protaras, Cyprus, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Police said there were 103 migrants, including minors aboard their vessel. (AP)
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Migrants aboard a Cyprus marine police boat as they're brought to harbour after being rescued from their own vessel off the Mediterranean island nation's southeastern coast, at Protaras, Cyprus, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Police said there were 103 migrants, including minors aboard the vessel. (AP)
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A migrant mother holds her baby aboard a bus after being rescued from a vessel off the Mediterranean island nation's southeastern coast, in Protaras, Cyprus, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Police said there were 103 migrants, including minors aboard the vessel. (AP)
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Updated 14 January 2020

Cyprus rescues 101 Syrian migrants off coast

  • The migrants were brought to shore on an inflatable
  • The migrants — 88 men, six women and seven children — were being processed before transfer to Nicosia

NICOSIA: Cyprus police said they rescued 101 Syrian migrants sighted on a boat off the Mediterranean island’s southeast coast on Tuesday.
A patrol vessel located the 33-meter (100-foot) boat 18 nautical miles off the resort town of Protaras.
The migrants were brought to shore on an inflatable and their damaged boat anchored near a fishing harbor.
The migrants had said they set off from Mersin in Turkey, an eastern Mediterranean route often used by people smugglers.
The migrants — 88 men, six women and seven children — were being processed before transfer to a reception center outside the capital Nicosia.
Nicosia has warned Brussels it has come under pressure from increased migration flows, ranking it top in first-time asylum seekers in proportion to its population.
Cyprus is the first European Union member to permanently host the European Asylum Support Office to help cope with the spike in arrivals.
But the small EU member, located 100 miles (160 kilometers) from Syria, has not seen the same massive inflow of migrants as Turkey and Greece.
Syrian nationals accounted for 33 percent of first-time asylum seekers in Cyprus in the second quarter of 2019, EU figures show.
According to available government data, the number of arrivals and applicants for asylum from January to June last year almost reached 7,000.


Ukraine to press for plane crash black boxes as Iran minister visits

Updated 1 min 29 sec ago

Ukraine to press for plane crash black boxes as Iran minister visits

  • Ukraine’s foreign minister said returning the black boxes would show that Iran wanted an unbiased investigation of the crash
  • The plane disaster has heightened international pressure on Iran

KIEV: Ukraine will press Iran to hand over the black boxes from the crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane at a meeting with a visiting Iranian delegation on Monday, Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told reporters.
Ukraine would convey the message to visiting Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami, that returning the black boxes would show that Iran wanted an unbiased investigation of the crash, Prystaiko said.
“His main task is to apologize and acknowledge what happened. We hope that we can go a little further than just political discussions and discuss practical problems. Among them in particular is the return of the black boxes,” Prystaiko said.
Iran had said on Sunday it was trying to analyze the black boxes from the airliner its military shot down this month, denying an earlier report it would hand them to Ukraine. All 176 aboard the flight died.
“At first they stated that they were handing them over, then the same person stated that they were not handing them over. This created some misunderstanding in Ukraine and we were starting to be asked: are they being handed over or not?“
Many of those killed had were Iranians with dual citizenship, but Iran does not recognize dual nationality and on Monday said it would treat the victims as Iranian nationals.
Canada, which had 57 citizens on the flight, said there were still no firm plans for downloading the recorders. Ottawa and other capitals have called for the black boxes to be sent abroad.
The Jan. 8 plane disaster has heightened international pressure on Iran as it grapples with a long-running dispute with the United States over its nuclear program and its influence in the region that briefly erupted into open conflict this month.
The Iranian military has said it downed Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 in error in the aftermath of tit-for-tat strikes by the United States and Iran. But authorities delayed admitting this, prompting days of protests on Iran’s streets.
Ukraine held a ceremony at Kiev’s Boryspil airport on Sunday as the bodies of 11 citizens, including nine crew, were returned to Ukraine.