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EU ministers discuss jihadist travel to Syria, border security

While the G6 meeting of interior ministers on Nov. 6 focused on jihadists traveling from Europe to Syria via Turkey, the European Parliament is considering putting in place more stringent security checks and travel restrictions.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (2nd R) hosts a meeting of the European G6 interior ministers on November 6, 2014 in Paris. Interior ministers of Spain, Germany, UK, Italy and Poland were meeting with Cazeneuve on November 6 to discuss the fight against terrorism and in particular the problem of "foreign fighters" traveling in Syria and ways to combat their recruiting online. The Turkish and Canadian interior ministers, as well as the American Ministers of Justice and Homeland Security were invit
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The question of how to stop European jihadists traveling to the Middle East has been the most important issue on the agenda at every meeting of the European Union interior ministers of late. The issue was again taken up on Nov. 6 in Paris at the G6 meeting of interior ministers, who represent the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Poland and Spain. Turkey’s interior minister was also invited to the meeting, because nearly all jihadists travel to Syria via Turkey. The objective of the EU ministers was clear: "Build a global front against a global terrorist threat." The return of jihadists and possible terrorist attacks in Europe has also been of great concern, and therefore the EU states prepare to tighten security checks at the Schengen borders and improve the passenger records system.

The meeting included ministers of the six largest countries in Europe along with Turkey, the United States and Canada. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve had personally invited his Turkish counterpart, Efkan Ala. Turkey was treated as the “guest of honor” at the meeting, because nearly all European jihadists who fought with the Islamic State (IS) and had returned confessed to first flying to Istanbul, then traveling to Turkey’s southernmost province of Hatay, where they paid smugglers only $50 to help them cross the border into Syria. The firsthand testimonies from the jihadists pointed all fingers to Turkey for enabling their entrance to Syria.

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