VALLETTA, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Malta registered a total of 1,610 asylum claims in 2017, which decreased by 7 percent from 2016, Eurostat reported on Tuesday.
Malta also saw the fourth largest number of first-time asylum applications relative to population among EU member states in 2017.
There were in total 1,270 first-time asylum applicants per million population in EU in 2017. The highest number per million population was recorded in Greece which was 5,295, and the lowest numbers were recorded in Slovakia which was 27.
Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans continued to be the main nationalities seeking international protection in the EU member states in 2017, together accounting for 150 percent of all first-time applicants.
At the end of last year, almost 1 million applications for international protection were pending, still under consideration by national authorities.