Terrorism, economic cooperation dominate Modi-Erdogan talks


In an attempt to expand cooperation in the economic realm and counter terrorism, India and Turkey pushed for strengthening the bilateral relations between both the countries. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit to discuss combating terrorism and bolstering economic cooperation.

Elaborating on economic cooperation, Mr Modi stressed on Make in India and Smart Cities initiatives. Turkey has expressed interest in the Make in India initiative of the Indian government, which would strengthen the manufacturing sector in India. India has already entered into agreements with other countries for boosting manufacturing in India especially in the defence sector.

Turkey has a significant presence in the construction sector and has expressed interest to be part of India’s infrastructure projects especially the Smart Cities programme where the government plans to develop 100 new smart cities.

In the realm of security cooperation, India and Turkey discussed combating terrorism. The recent series of terror attacks on Turkish soil have pointed to increasing presence of the terror outfit Islamic State (IS) in the country and the threats arising from it. The extremist group is a growing threat to India as well with reports of Indians being recruited by the group coming to prominence. Reports of IS planning to attack India have also been gaining traction. India needs to counter this threat and by strengthening its collaboration with Turkey, it can step up its counter-terrorism cooperation.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Mr Modi sought Turkey’s support for India’s membership for four export control regime. This was with reference to the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement.

UN Reform, civil nuclear cooperation, and cooperation in space and agricultural research were other issues that came up during the discussion between the two leaders.

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