In Kashmir shadow, India & Turkey join hands against terror, step up trade

India and Turkey, the two G20 economies, have raised the bar for their economic partnership and agreed to intensify their counter-terror cooperation despite differences over issues like the Kashmir dispute.
As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrapped up his two-day visit to India on May 1, there was a clear-cut resolve to build on convergences, especially in the economic arena, and find ways to bridge differences through sustained dialogue.
Mr Erdogan held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi under the shadow of discords in the political relationship between the two countries when the Indian media splashed remarks by the Turkish leader in an interview to a TV channel in which he favoured a multilateral dialogue on the Kashmir issue that went against New Delhi’s consistent stand that the issue can only be resolved bilaterally with Islamabad. In response, India conveyed to Turkey that it is ready to resolve all bilateral issues with Pakistan, including Kashmir, said India’s Ministryof External Affairs spokesman Gopal Bagley when asked to comment on Mr Erdogan’s suggestion of a multilateral dialogue. The spokesperson added that India conveyed its position on Kashmir and stressed that it is essentially a terrorism issue.

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