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Erdogan’s India visit signals better trade ties with Turkey, but gaps on Kashmir

Erdogan’s India visit signals better trade ties with Turkey, but gaps on Kashmir

India and Turkey have agreed on the need to build a stronger economic relationship which could be achieved through an increase in trade over the next three years. But they seem to disagree on political issues such as terrorism and Kashmir.

President Erdogan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are currently attending the India-Turkey Trade Summit in New Delhi.

Views expressed by Turkish President Erdogan just before his visit to India:

  • Need for multilateral dialogue on the Kashmir issue, which goes against India’s position post the Shimla agreement that the dispute should be resolved bilaterally
  • Supports both India and Pakistan for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership and advocated that India should give up its opposition to the entry of Pakistan in NSG
  • He also asked India not to take the Gulenist network (which Turkey accuses of spreading terror) lightly and take steps to control the activity of the group

Gulen movement:

  • It is not a political party but a well-organized community named after Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric based in US
  • It promotes Islam which is tolerant with emphasis on altruism, modesty, hard work and education
  • It was formally declared as terrorist organization in May 2016 by the Turkish government after the attempted coup in Turkey

Convergence on the issue of terrorism:

  • Turkish President Erdogan assured India of full support to fight terrorism but his comments were in the context of an attack on CRPF personnel in Sukma, Chhattisgarh
  • The comment was not in context of cross border terrorism that India accuses Pakistan for
  • He even asked countries to work together to disrupt terrorist networks and stop cross border movement of terrorists

Convergence on trade and commercial ties:

  • President Erdogan termed India as a strategic partner because of its location, resources and its economy. The current trade volume between the two countries is at around $6.5 billion which should be increased to at least $10 billion
  • Expanding cooperation in energy and infrastructure sector is important
  • The Indian prime minister called for a greater partnership of Turkish companies with the governments flagship programmes
  • The Indian prime minister even stated that as India and Turkey are both energy deficient and this sector has the potential to become an important pillar of our bilateral relationship
  • He even invited Turkish construction companies to participate in the task of building India fast
Read 318 times Last modified on Tuesday, 02 May 2017 12:09

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