Skopje, July 14, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Naser Pajaziti
In 2014, there have been 1353 asylum applications by foreign citizens, mainly Middle Easter, in FYR Macedonia. The largest number consists on applicants from Syria. The center for asylum seekers in Skopje said that the largest number of asylum seekers consists on those coming from Syria, but other countries too. Based on the data, 368 asylum seekers have filed their applications since the start of the year.
Representatives of this center said that the majority of these foreign citizens mainly come from Egypt, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Tunisia. They remain in the country for a short time and then leave.
Irena Zdravkova, project-coordinator says that in cooperation with UNHCR, work is being done to offer better conditions for asylum seekers. “Citizens from Asian and African countries use our country as a transit point, because after they stay here for a short period, they leave to other countries. We don’t know anything about their movements, but they say that they’re more interested to travel to Sweden, Italy, Germany or France”, said Zdravkova.
A number of these African and Asian asylum seekers enter the country illegally and stay in border areas temporarily. The region of Kumanovo in the border with Serbia is the main location where the majority of these emigrants stay. They use this area to cross to Serbia and then to Western European countries through illegal ways. /ibna/