Ankara: India and Turkey have expressed mutual concern over the continuing menace of terrorism, and agreed that both countries need to step up their cooperation in countering this threat more effectively.
Briefing media persons after Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari had called on Turkish President Abdullah Gul last evening, Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, Special Secretary in charge of Public Diplomacy in the Ministry of External Affairs, said the issue of terrorism and militancy was discussed with the host country’s president and at the delegation level in detail, and both leaders and sides had expressed common concern over the recent terror strikes in India and Turkey, and expressed condolences for both victims and survivors of such attacks in the recent past.
"We also expressed our deep grief and conveyed condolences to the terrorist attacks that have happened in Turkey, and, I think, in the recent past, in Ankara itself. Now that was a mutual concern that we shared. We also conveyed mutual condolences and agreed to step up some of these activities that we can. Because it was quite clear that international cooperation will increase," Chakravarty added.
Both Ansari and Gul discussed other issues during their meeting, including ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in trade and commerce, and how to attract investments in key sectors of the two countries.
Particular interest was evinced for infrastructure-related investments, said Chakravarty.
"The Vice President made the point about infrastructural development in India, and also about the fact that Turkey has played a leading role in infrastructure development, not only within the country, but also in the wider region, including the Arab world," he said.
"The Vice President mentioned that India will be spending a huge amount of money in the next ten years, almost a trillion US dollars, on infrastructural development, and we would welcome Turkish companies who have lots of experience to come. In fact, more to come, because there are already some Turkish companies in India in the field of infrastructure developments which also includes pipelines etc," he added.
Chakravarty also said that historical ties between the two nations were also discussed.
"The emphasis was of course on historic ties, but also how to add more contemporary content to these ties. History is there. In fact there was reference to the vice-president’s personal connection with Turkey through his great grand uncle and former Congress party president MA Ansari.
MA Ansari was sent to Turkey on a medical mission in 1912, when Turkey was fighting for its independence.
“There was this wonderful sight of the speaker handing over a framed picture of VP``s great grand uncle after the lunch. Then there was a photo opportunity with the picture and everyone around," Chakravarty said. (ANI)