World

Lebanese foreign minister warns Cyprus could become jihadi gateway in, out of Mideast

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, Gebran Bassil, center, listens to the translator as his Cyprus counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides speaks during a press conference at the foreign ministry house in Capital Nicosia, Wednesday, Nov. 26,  2014. Bassil is in Cyprus for an official visit. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, Gebran Bassil, center, listens to the translator as his Cyprus counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides speaks during a press conference at the foreign ministry house in Capital Nicosia, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. Bassil is in Cyprus for an official visit. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, Gebran Bassil, speaks to the media during a press conference after a meeting with his Cyprus' counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides at the foreign ministry house in Capital Nicosia, Wednesday, Nov. 26,  2014. Bassil is in Cyprus for an official visit. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, Gebran Bassil, speaks to the media during a press conference after a meeting with his Cyprus' counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides at the foreign ministry house in Capital Nicosia, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. Bassil is in Cyprus for an official visit. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, Gebran Bassil, left, speaks to the media as his Cyprus counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides listens during a press conference at the foreign ministry house in Capital Nicosia, Wednesday, Nov. 26,  2014. Bassil is in Cyprus for official visit. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, Gebran Bassil, left, speaks to the media as his Cyprus counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides listens during a press conference at the foreign ministry house in Capital Nicosia, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. Bassil is in Cyprus for official visit. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

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

Foreign Minister Gibran 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.