As record numbers of Syrian refugees reach the shores of Cyprus, the Nicosia government wants the European Union to consider declaring parts of their war-torn homeland safe to repatriate them to, the Cypriot interior minister said, Reuters reports.

Amid growing conflict in the Middle East, the Mediterranean island is bracing for a further influx of refugees and asylum-seekers, further straining resources, Minister Constantinos Ioannou told Reuters in an interview.

“Starting a discussion to re-evaluate the issue of Syria is crucial for us,” he said. Cyprus has said it is expanding its capacity to host refugees but it wants its EU partners to revaluate its policies.

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