Belgium wants deal with Turkey to stop foreign fighters
BRUSSELS – Anadolu Agency
AFP photoBelgium has requested an agreement between Turkey and European Union to monitor the movement of foreign fighters, the Belgian interior minister said on April 20.
Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon made a statement on April 20 following a meeting of the European Council of ministers of justice and interior affairs.
Jambon said those deported should be sent back to their countries, referring to Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, one of the bombers of the Brussels attacks last month, who had been deported from Turkey in June 2015 after he was caught near the Turkey-Syria border. An EU citizen, Bakraoui had been then sent to Netherlands instead of Belgium.
On March 23, a day after the Brussels bombings, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey had deported one of the attackers involved in the attacks in June 2015.
“Belgium ignored our warning that this person is a foreign fighter,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said March 23.
At least 35 people were killed and more than 100 others were injured in multiple explosions at the Zaventem airport and the Maalbeek metro station in Brussels.
A news agency linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the Brussels attack.
Following the attacks in March, Jambon and Justice Minister Koen Geens had offered to resign. However, Prime Minister Charles Michel refused their resignation requests.
The attacks showed how exposed Europe has become to threats from jihadists, four months after 130 people were killed in a night of violent attacks in the French capital.