Cyprus Mail

Foreign Minister concerned over Islamic State threat for the wider region

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides

The Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kassoulides has told British TV network Sky News that Britain would have to consult with him ahead of any airstrike in Iraq through the RAF base in Akrotiri, on Cyprus` southern coast.

The Minister appeared certain that Nicosia would “not object to the use of the British Bases for any military operation against a terrorist organisation like this one which is the worst kind that we have ever met.”

Elaborating on how he sees the Islamic State, he said: “I think it is a very real threat, it is already demonstrable. All the neighbouring countries are at risk and I think having in mind some of their operations near the shores of the Mediterranean, although remote, we consider ourselves being in danger as well.

“We consider ourselves as the front line of the European Union in this part of the world,” noted Kassoulides.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has stressed that his country will not engage in another war in Iraq, although he has said the UK will use its military prowess to stop the advance of the jihadist fighters.

Britain has been using the Akrotiri base for the past couple of weeks in order to carry out its humanitarian mission for the relief of thousands of displaced people in northern Iraq.

Britain, a former colonial power, has retained two military bases in Cyprus since the island gained its independence in 1960.

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