Lebanon, Cyprus to work on curbing migrant arrivals by boat

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Lebanon's defense minister said his country and Cyprus have agreed to work together on curbing boat loads of migrants from reaching the east Mediterranean island nation.

Elias Bou Saab said after talks with his Cypriot counterpart on Tuesday that Lebanon would pass on information to Cypriot authorities to better coordinate in heading off such arrivals.

Saab said Lebanon understands Cypriot concerns over such arrivals and that the Lebanese navy had stopped migrants trying to reach Cyprus "many times."

Saab added that the both countries are looking to better coordinate their naval forces.

Cyprus officials have said that the EU-member country leads the 28 member-bloc in the number of asylum applications relative to its population.

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