By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu on Wednesday said that Serbia extended unwavering support to Ankara in the aftermath of the 2016 defeated coup.
Speaking at a joint news conference with his Serbian counterpart Nebojsa Stefanovic, Soylu said: "Our nation will never forget this stance. Serbia's contributions after the coup attempt will never be forgotten. This gesture is entrenched in the hearts of our nation."
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
In an earlier meeting, the two ministers signed a letter of intent for joint cooperation between Interior Ministries of Turkey and Serbia.
Soylu stressed that the two countries will jointly fight against terrorism and crime.
He added that they discussed issues related to terrorism, irregular migration and drugs.
"We will continue to work together to improve our relations and bring them to a higher level. We have the intention and we agreed that we will do everything against terrorism, organized crime and smugglers. So today we decided to close the way to crime," said Soylu.
Stefanovic said that one of the most important tasks of the two ministries is to intensify the fight against organized crime, as well as stronger cooperation in the fight against terrorism, cyber crime and the migrant crisis.
"Serbia extensively respects Turkey's efforts in keeping millions of migrants, nearly four million migrants, and providing them with health and all other protection, because it is not an easy job," he said.
He said that the letter signed today was just the first step toward cooperation on security matters.
"We consider Minister Soylu as a great friend of our country. Every criminal should know that they cannot find a place to hide in our country. Serbia will do everything it can to make Turkish citizens feel safe," said Stefanovic.
Soylu arrived on a two-day visit to Serbia. He will attend on Thursday the Conference on High-tech Crime and Information Security – Connect Securely.