Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in India on Sunday morning after winning a controversial referendum that gives him overwhelming powers in his country. He has been ruling with an iron fost ever since a coup was directed against his rule, but which he had successfully defeated. During his two-day trip, the Turkish President is scheduled to meet both President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Turkish President will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 1 on key bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Here are the 5 key points that could be discussed during this trip:
1. India’s membership in Nuclear Suppliers Group
Since Turkey is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the issue of India’s membership bid of the elite group is likely to figure during the talks between the two leaders. However, Ruchi Ghanashyam, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs Ministry was contacted by the news agency PTI on the issue but did not give a direct answer and said, “We remain engaged with Turkey.”
Here’s when PM Modi met Erdogan last year:
2. Turkey’s comments on Kashmir
Turkey’s statements on Jammu and Kashmir and its support to Pakistan is going to be another crucial topic of discussion. “We have always emphasized that India-Turkey relations stand on their own footing and, we believe, the Turkish side reciprocates our sentiment,” Ghanashyam told the agency while mentioning that India is aware that Turkey shares a close relationship with Pakistan.
Both the countries have been facing the problem of terrorism and enhancing anti-terror cooperation will be among the focus areas during the Erdogen-Modi talks. After a failed coup in July last year to topple Erdogan, Turkey had blamed Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation (FETO) for it and said the outfit has “infiltrated” India. Back then, it also asked India to take action against the organisation.
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4. Situation in Syria
Issues relating to regional security and the situation in Middle East, especially in Syria are also likely to feature during talks between Modi and Erdogan. The timing of Turkish president’s visit is also very crucial keeping in mind that Cyprus President also arrived in the country a few days back.
Business and corporate relations are going to be another important topic when the two leaders will meet. The Turkish President is accompanied by some cabinet ministers, senior officials and a 150-member business delegation according to NDTV.com who will participate in the India-Turkey Business Forum.