February 10, 2010 2:46:24 am
Turkey has expressed its regret at not inviting India for the conference on Afghanistan in Istanbul,but added that New Delhis relations with Islamabad should not come in the way of the expanding bilateral relations between the two countries,top sources told The Indian Express.
Ankara has also told New Delhi that it is planning to organise another conference on the economic situation in Afghanistan later this year and would invite India. This exchange between the two countries took place ahead of Turkish President Abdullah Guls current visit to India. Gul is in India till February 11.
Gul,who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday,also appreciated Indias contribution in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
During the talks,the two countries also agreed to work together with other like-minded countries for the finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the earliest. Turkey is the first Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) country to come out with a joint declaration with India on terrorism. The declaration denounces those who sponsor,abet and instigate terrorism and provide them safe havens.
The two sides also agreed on a joint declaration on cooperation in the field of science and technology with a focus on areas of telecommunication,information technology,space,biotechnology and environmental technology.
Gul,who is accompanied by a 100-member delegation,is focused on enhancing trade relations with India. In this context,Singh pointed out that despite having several frameworks and mechanisms for bilateral cooperation and two-way trade crossing $3 billion in 2008,the relations are far below their true potential and that India is ready for a much deeper and robust partnership with Turkey. He referred to the Joint Study Group for a Compressive Free Trade Agreement that held its first meeting in Delhi in January 2010 and welcomed the increased participation of Turkish companies in infrastructural projects in India.
Iran offers to play role in India-Pak talks
Expressing its support for talks between India and Pakistan,Iran on Tuesday also offered to play a role in facilitating negotiations if there is any need.
Irans ambassador to India Seyed Mehdi Nabizadeh,who was addressing the media in Delhi on the occasion of THE 31st anniversary celebrations of the Islamic Republic of Iran,said,We have always welcomed direct negotiations between India and Pakistan. We feel direct negotiations will succeed much faster. Iran,being a friend of India and Pakistan,can play a role in facilitating negotiations if there is any need, he added.
It may be noted that Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao made this proposal to hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir,when she made a phone call to him on January 28.
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