Turkey, Montenegro sign deal on disaster response

Turkey and Montenegro signed a cooperation deal on natural disaster response and emergency preparedness on Thursday.

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"This deal will have important contributions in future to minimize disaster risks for both countries," Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.

Soylu and his Montenegrin counterpart Mevludin Nuhodzic sealed the deal in the Turkish capital Ankara.

Before the signing ceremony, Soylu said that the meeting with Nuhodzic will also play a role in cementing ties.

"We exchange ideas about cooperation, fight against terror, irregular migration as well as the fight against FETO," Soylu said, adding that Turkey was grateful for Montenegro's support in the fight against FETO, the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

Soylu said that effective and timely solutions are required while facing disasters so local and international cooperation in this field is very important.

Nuhodzic said that they talked about the fight against organized crime and terror, human trafficking and illegal migration.

"Our cooperation is strong and top-level....We should stop uncontrolled and illegal migration," Nuhodzic said.

Turkey has been a main route for irregular migrants trying to cross to Europe, especially since 2011, the start of the Syrian civil war.

Over 265,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Turkish Interior Ministry.

Nuhodzic praised Turkey for its attitude on Syrian migrants.

Turkey hosts more than 3.5 million Syrians, more than any other country in the world.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

According to UN figures, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed or displaced in the conflict, mainly by regime airstrikes in opposition-held areas.