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Erdogan in India LIVE updates: Turkey stands with India in full solidarity against terrorism, says Erdogan

Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan is in India on a two-day bilateral visit. Follow for the latest updates on his visit to India and the key decisions between India and Turkey.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 1, 2017 7:28:45 pm
President Pranab Mukherjee (left), Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (Centre) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. Image: Rashtrapati Bhavan/Facebook

Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan held bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. The two took stock of all political, economic and cultural engagements, they revealed in a joint statement later. Erdogan, who arrived Sunday, is on a two-day visit to India, and this is his first visit to India as the Turkish President. Earlier in the day, Erdogan was awarded a ceremonial welcome by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He also payed his tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat, following which he addressed a FICCI business summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Here are the LIVE updates: 

7.25 pm:  Vice President Hamid Ansari calls on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in New Delhi.

6.45 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweets about his meeting with President Erdogan. Talks included discussions on threats from terrorism & the need for the world to come together & uproot terror, he says. Regarding bilateral trade, he tweeted, “Highlighted transformative changes underway in India that are making the investment climate more open & facilitating ease of doing business.”

6.30 pm: The Ministry of External Affairs clarifies that India told Turkey that it is ready to resolve all bilateral issues with Pakistan, including Kashmir, reports PTI. The comments come in response to the President Erdogan’s suggestion of multilateral dialogue. The spokesperson for the MEA added that India conveyed its position on Kashmir, saying that it is essentially a terrorism issue, according to PTI.

5.55 pm: Following the bilateral talks held by PM Modi and President Erdogan, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said that Turkey has taken a keen interest in the government’s Smart Cities and Make in India programmes. “This is a good platform for us to develop,” he added. He also said that the two discussed promoting and expanding tourism, as the countries share a deep-rooted cultural relationship.

Further, PM Modi has accepted President Erdogan’s invitation to visit Turkey.

5.00 pm: The PIB tweets a picture of President Erdogan signing the visitor’s book at the Hyderabad House, in the presence of PM Modi.

4.35 pm: India and Turkey have signed three MoUs; one in the field of Information and Communication Technologies, one pertaining to training and the last on a Cultural Exchange Programme for 2017-2020.

4.30 pm: We had very productive meetings, tweets President Erdogan, after holding bilateral talks with PM Modi.

4.25 pm:  PM Modi and President Erdogan witness the exchange of agreements between India & Turkey at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi.

3.45 pm: Turkey condemns all forms of terrorism, President Erdogan said, adding that, “Turkey will always be by the side of India in full solidarity while battling terrorism.” He condemned the recent terrorist attack on April 24.

3.38 pm: India is a strategic partner to Turkey because of its location, resources and its economy, President Erdogan says. The trade volume between two countries is at around $6.5 billion. We need to increase it to at least $10 billion as soon as possible, he added. He said that the countries will look at ways to expand cooperation in the energy and infrastructure sectors, in particular.

3.37 pm: PM Modi welcomes the Turkish President to India. He said that during their bilateral talks, the two premiers took stock of all political, economic and cultural engagements. “We live in a time when our society faces new threats and challenges everyday,” PM Modi said.

PM Modi added that both countries are large economies and that the strength of the economies present numerous opportunities to expand trade. I encourage stronger partnership of Turkish companies with the government’s flagship programmes.

He said that countries must work as one to disrupt terrorist networks, and their financing, and stop cross border terrorism. “The constantly evolving threat from terrorism is our shared worry,” he said, adding that he held extensive talks with the President on this subject.

PM Modi says the UNSC needs to reflect the world of the 21st century and not of the century gone by. India has been pushing for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

3.35 pm: PM Modi and President Erdogan issue a joint press statement.

1.25 pm:

12.02 pm: “We are modernizing our railways and upgrading our highways. We have made maximum allocations for these two sectors. India and Turkey are both energy deficient, and our energy needs are ever increasing. This sector is an important pillar of bilateral relations,” PM Modi said, adding that “India was never a more promising destination than it is today.”

12.00 pm: On tourism and trade, PM Modi said: “We are putting up new ports and mordenising old ones through Sagarmala. Similar focus is on upgrading existing airports. Turkish tourism sector is globally renowned. Number of tourists going to Turkey has gone up in the last few years. It’s also popular for shooting Indian films and television industry. We must explore wider opportunities in this area. We could reach out to regional cinema industry.”

11. 56 am: Inviting Turkey construction companies to India, Modi said: “Turkey’s companies can easily participate in this task of building India fast. We plan to build 50 mn houses by 2022. For this purpose we have repeatedly refined our FDI policy in construction sector. We are planning metro rail projects in 50 cities and high speed trains in various national corridors.”

11.55 am: PM Modi: “We are in the process of building a new India. Our focus is on making it easier to work and to do business. This includes reforming policies, processes and procedures. We have achieved lots of success and recognition on this front. Our global ranking has gone up on many parameters. However, this is an ongoing effort that has to continue. It’s a shift in attitude and approach. Effort is to make India a better place and to have people recognise their potential.”

11.50 am: More on what Prime Minister Modi has said:

“India and Turkey are among the top 20 largest economies in the world. Both economies have shown remarkable stability even in volatile global situations. We are optimistic about our economic prospects. There is immense goodwill for each other between the people of the two countries. Time has come to deepen economic relations.

There is huge potential to enhance bilateral engagement. This is possible through trade and FDI inflows, technology tieups and cooperation on various projects. We have seen some increase in participation of Turkish companies in some areas.”

“We have to build on this rich heritage, there is huge potential and opportunity to enhance bilateral engagement (with Turkey),” Prime Minister Modi has said.

11.40 am: “India and Turkey share a common outlook on the present economic order in the world,” PM Modi has said, speaking at the India – Turkey business summit.

 

11.30 am: Addressing the meeting, FICCI President Pankaj Patel said: “The embrace of cultural and linguistic commonality has bounded our people for over a millennia. Turkey’s geo-strategic location & India’s rising economic stock under leadership of Hon’ble PM Modi, makes us ideal partners.” Over 150 business delegates from Turkey are attending the business summit in New Delhi.

11.20 am: President Erdogan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are currently attending the India-Turkey Trade Summit in New Delhi. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not expected to attend the meeting, taking many by surprise.

11.00 am: At the FICCI meeting, President Erdogan will be accompanied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is also likely to address the gathering of business leaders from both the nations.

10.45 am: FICCI is all set to host the India-Turkey Business Summit. Erdogan is likely to address top businessman at the meeting. He is also accompanied by over 150 Turkish trade and business representatives looking to initiate businesses in India. Turkey is keen on investing in real estate and construction in India.

10.30 am: In its response, India has maintained that its position on Jammu and Kashmir is well known, and it stands by it. “We have always emphasised that India-Turkey relations stand on their own footing and, we believe, the Turkish side reciprocates our sentiment,” Ruchi Ghanashyam, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs Ministry, said, adding that India’s position on the state of J&K is very well known that it is an integral part of the country.

10.15 am: Days ahead of his visit to India, Erdogan spoke to news channel WION, where he expressed concern at the continuing stand-off between India and Pakistan on Kashmir. This is what he had to say: “We should not allow more casualties to occur, and by strengthening multilateral dialogue, we can be involved, and through multilateral dialogue, I think we have to seek out ways to settle this question once and for all.” Turkey also shares close ties with Pakistan and the statement could well come up for discussion during the meeting with PM Modi. He also said he supported both India and Pakistan’s bid to be part of the NSG, adding that India should give up its attitude of distancing itself from Pakistan which has a track record of nuclear proliferation.

10.00 am: At Rashtrapati Bhavan, Erdogan was accorded a ceremonial welcome. Erdogan was received by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Here are the visuals of that ceremony. Erdogan will soonmeet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House.

9.50 am: Here are some pictures of President Erdogan paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at the Rajghat memorial in the national capital. Erdogan will now head to Hyderabad House where he will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Post the talks, the two leaders will issue a joint statement.

9.45 am: On trade and commerce, Turkey is hopeful that its relations with India will help boost its investments in the country. Turkey’s Commercial Counsellor to India Vural Çekinmez said Turkish companies wanting to enter the Indian market are already being provided support by Turkish officials in New Delhi, Daily Sabah reports. Çekinmez further said that Erdogan’s visit could well be one of the most comprehensive meetings in India in recent years.

“This visit will provide significant benefits for both Turkish business people who already have investments in India and those looking to potentially invest here,”Çekinmez told Daily Sabah.

9.35 am: Besides the bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi, a meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is also scheduled. The Erdogan-Swaraj meeting will take place following the bilateral talks between the two world leaders.

9.25 am: Given the threat Erdogan faces, specially from the Islamic State, security is at its peak. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has directed security agencies to ensure that he is provided the highest security cover in the wake of threats from the ISIS. Moreover, security personnel deployed to ensure Erdogan’s safety have put in a request to carry weapons on them at all times. Erdogan’s aircraft, as well, has been provided round-the-clock security.

9.20 am: President Erdogan has arrived at Rashtrapati Bhavan where he inspects a ceremonial guard of honour. Accompanying him were President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. From here, he will head to Rajgath and pay his tributes to Mahatma Gandhi.

9.15 am: Besides the bilateral talks between the two nations, delegates from Turkey will also attend a India-Turkey Business Forum. About 150 delegates, representing Turkey businesses and trade, are accompanying Erdogan, along with his cabinet ministers and senior officials. They will participate in the India-Turkey Business Forum. In fact, India’s top business chambers  – FICCI and Assocham – issued full page advertisments welcoming Erdogan to India, in a hope to build and take forward trade relations between the two nations.

9.10 am: Among the issues set to dominate the bilateral talks between the two nations are economic ties, cooperation in the fight against terrorism and Turkey’s support to India in its bid to become a member in the coveted Nuclear Supplier’s Group. The issue of terrorism has been key in India’s discussions with nations of the G20. It had also come up during the G20 meeting in Antalya in 2015.

9.00 am: This is not Tayyip Erdogan’s first visit. He had earlier visited the country in 2008 and held talks with then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Erdogan, then, however was not President but Prime Minister of Turkey. After eleven years as Prime Minister, he was elected President in 2014.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, has met President Erdogan. The meeting took place during the 2015 G-20 Antalya summit, in Turkey. You can watch a brief video of that meeting below.

At the G20 meeting, terror was the key focus and Prime Minister Modi called for all nations to unite against terrorism and states that have been allowing the territory to be used as safe havens for terror organisations. You can read about that meeting here.

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