Secretary of State John F. Kerry, right, and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu meet at the State Department on Monday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Turkish police directly contacted their Belgian counterparts last July when they deported a Belgian national who would go on to blow himself up in Brussels Airport last week, Turkey’s foreign minister said Monday.

Belgian authorities have acknowledged receiving diplomatic communications about the terrorist, Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, information that Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said was communicated to Belgium and the Netherlands through their embassies in Ankara.

“Furthermore, our police warned the Belgian police,” Cavusoglu said.

Turkey and Europe have long mutually complained about lukewarm cooperation on terrorism matters. “We share information, but there’s a lack of real political will and determination or action against these foreign terrorist fighters” in Europe, Cavusoglu said, although he acknowledged that the situation has improved recently.

Some of the thousands of deported foreign fighters subsequently arrived back in Turkey after European governments declined to detain them, he said.

A March 20 suicide bombing, blamed by Turkey on the Islamic State, killed five in Istanbul. It was the fifth major terrorist attack in Turkey since October.

Cavusoglu spoke after meetings in Washington with Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Susan E. Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to arrive later in the week to attend the White House-hosted Nuclear Security Summit and to open a Turkish American community facility, called the Diyanet Center, in Lanham, Md., on Saturday. It includes a mosque, a cultural center and a Turkish bathhouse in addition to guest houses and meeting facilities.

On other matters, Cavusoglu said the number of migrants and refugees seeking to reach Greece and the European Union from Turkey had dropped from nearly 8,000 a day to fewer than 1,000 following an agreement signed with the E.U. last month.

Under the agreement, the E.U. has agreed to “reenergize” Turkey’s bid to join the union, to allocate new aid for refugees in Turkey and to negotiate Turkey’s visa-free access to much of Europe by this summer.

Cavusoglu said he did not expect questions about Turkey’s human rights problems — including the detention of journalists and the government takeover of a major newspaper, Today’s Zaman — to be an issue with Europe. “It has nothing to do with the freedom of the media,” he said. He said those arrested had been operating a “parallel structure,” funded by “bank robberies, murders,” that sought to overthrow the government.

He denied charges by political opponents and international critics that Erdogan is cracking down on free expression to enhance his power. “I know that it is damaging to our image,” Cavusoglu said. “But for the stability and the security of the country, we need to fight this.”

Cavusoglu also said that Turkey, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, remains willing to put military boots on the ground in Syria but will not do so without U.S. participation. “With airstrikes, we cannot even stop Daesh; forget about eradicating them,” he said, using the Arabic name for the Islamic State.

“The main question was, who was going to send the troops? The United States said no. . . . Why should Turkey do it alone?”

He said he expected that a long-planned offensive by U.S.- and coalition-backed Syrian opposition fighters in the northwest part of that country would be discussed at a U.S.-Turkey military meeting April 4 and would begin soon thereafter.

The cease-fire that began last month in Syria has provided “more options” for the coalition, Cavusoglu said. During his meetings with Kerry and Rice, he said, he continued to press Turkey’s concern about U.S. cooperation with Syrian Kurdish fighters, whom Ankara considers a terrorist force.