Vice President Ansari to leave for Turkey today
New Delhi: Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari will leave on a five-day visit to Turkey from Monday.
Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul Wasnik, Members of Parliament Sitaram Yechury, Ranjitsingh Vijaysinh Patil, Vijay Pal Singh and Ingrid McLeod will accompany Vice President Ansari on his visit.
He will also be accompanied by senior officials including Shumsher Sheriff, Secretary to the Vice President, and Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, Special Secretary (Public Diplomacy) from the Ministry of External Affairs.
"Vice President's visit will provide an additional impetus and momentum towards further consolidation and strengthening of the broad-based, multifaceted and comprehensive partnership between India and Turkey in areas of mutual interest to mutual benefit. This would also reinforce the close traditional and historical friendship between both countries," said M Ganapathi, Secretary (West), External Affairs Ministry.
"India's relations with Turkey have a historical bearing. The links between both countries are civilisational, encompassing architecture, arts, language and cuisine. Both countries understand each other well drawing their inspiration from their historical connections and the long association between the leaders and the peoples of two countries," he added.
"In the economic and commercial area we see Turkey as among our important partners in the region today. Two-way trade between the two countries touched USD 4 billion in 2010 of which India's exports were of the order of USD 3.4 billion and imports from Turkey into India accounted for USD 606 million," he said.
"More than 112 Indian companies have registered their business in Turkey with investments in areas ranging from infrastructure and automobiles to IT and consultancy services," he added.
The Vice President's visit commences in Ankara where he will hold delegation-level talks with a delegation of Members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly led by the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Camil Cicek.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul will receive Ansari. The Vice President is also expected to meet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit.
It is expected that during the discussions between the Vice President and his Turkish counterparts the entire gamut of bilateral, regional and international issues will be covered.
Vice President Ansari will pay homage to the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk at his Mausoleum in Ankara. He will also visit the historical Provinces of Konya and Nevsesir, which is also better known as Cappadocia.
Vice President Ansari will visit Istanbul where he will participate in a Business Forum at the Turkish Chamber of Businessmen and Industrialists.
While in Konya, the Vice President will be conferred an Honorary Doctorate for International Relations by the Mevlana University.