Cyprus has sent back to Lebanon 56 migrants who arrived on the Mediterranean island’s south-eastern coast over the weekend, state-run Cyprus Radio (RIK) reported on Monday.
The nationalities of the migrants, who were intercepted as they approached Cyprus on Sunday, have not been officially disclosed but Cypriot media reports they were all from Syria.
They were sent back on the same boat they arrived on, the reports said.
This was the third case in eight months of EU-member Cyprus immediately repatriating a group of migrants.
Cyprus Interior Minister Nikos Nouris has repeatedly stated that Lebanon is a safe third country and that the turning away of the migrants is done in agreement with the Lebanese government.
The government in Nicosia has repeatedly emphasized that refugee camps on the small island are overcrowded.
In relation to the size of its population, Cyprus received the most asylum applications in the European Union in 2020, according to EU statistics.