Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets Narendra Modi: Turkish president suggests talks on Kashmir, discusses terrorism

New Delhi:  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday at Hyderabad House ahead of delegation-level talks between the two sides.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. PTI

Modi and Erdogan held comprehensive discussions and took stock of full range of bilateral relations, including political and economic.

Terming constantly evolving threat of terrorism as "a shared worry", India and Turkey on Monday said that no reason or rationale can validate terrorism and pitched for strong action against those who provide shelter and support to such forces.

Addressing a joint press event with Erdogan, Modi said, "We live in times where our societies face new threats and challenges every day. The context and contours of some of the exiting and emerging security challenges globally are our common concern."

"In particular, the constantly evolving threat from terrorism is our shared worry. I held an extensive conversion with the Turkish president on this subject. We agreed that no intent or goal or reason or rationale can validate terrorism," he said.

Modi also strongly pitched for the need to work as one to disrupt the terrorist networks and their financing and put a stop to cross-border movement of terrorists, in an obvious reference to Pakistan-based terror outfits.

"President (Erdogan) and I agreed to work together to strengthen our cooperation, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to effectively counter this menace," the prime minister added. On his part, Erdogan said, "His country will always be with India in its battle against terrorism... And terrorists will be drowned in the blood they shed."

Ahead of his visit to India, Erdogan had pitched for a multilateral dialogue to resolve the Kashmir issue to ensure peace in the region.

"We should not allow more casualties to occur (in Kashmir). By having a multilateral dialogue, (in which) we can be involved, we can seek ways to settle the issue once and for all," he had told a TV channel in an interview.

The remarks are contrary to the position of India, which maintains that the Jammu and Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter between it and Pakistan, and that there is no scope for a third party mediation.

This is Erdogan's first foreign tour after winning a controversial referendum on 16 April that further consolidated his executive powers. The Turkish leader arrived here Sunday on a two-day visit.

"New impetus to a multifarious relationship," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted with a picture of the two leaders at the venue.

Earlier, President Pranab Mukherjee and Modi received Erdogan at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan where he was accorded a ceremonial guard of honour.

Later, Erdogan paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on the Turkish president and discussed issues of bilateral interest.

Modi and Erdogan then addressed a business summit organised by industry bodies CII, Ficci and Assocham in which both leaders called for boosting India-Turkey trade and economic ties.

On Monday evening, President Mukherjee will host a banquet in honour of Erdogan.

Erdogan last visited India in 2008 when he was the Turkish prime minister.

Updated Date: May 01, 2017 17:25 PM

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