Lebanese FM: Cyprus may be jihadist transit point

Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulides (R) and his Lebanse counteroart Gebran Bassil give a joint press conference in the capital Nicosia on Nov. 26, 2014. (AFP)

Lebanon’s foreign minister says more attention should be paid to the possibility of Cyprus becoming a gateway for aspiring foreign jihadists to transit in and out of the Middle East.

Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil warned after talks Wednesday with his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides that the small island nation could be used “as a European country for foreign fighters to move from Europe toward the Middle East” and vice versa.

Ethnically split Cyprus lies about 100 miles east of Syria.

A Cypriot security official said last week that Cyprus has already stepped up screening efforts across the island’s dividing line to prevent Europeans from passing through en route to Syria.

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