This Article is From May 02, 2017

India's Firm Response After Turkish President's Controversial Kashmir Comment: 10 Points

supported for India's bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.

President Erdogan supported India's bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (AFP)

New Delhi: At a meeting on Monday between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, India firmly explained to the visiting leader that "the issue of Kashmir is essentially an issue of terrorism," and asserted that its disputes with Pakistan must be settled bilaterally. Ahead of his visit, Mr Erdogan had in a television interview suggested a "multi-lateral dialogue" on Kashmir, offering to mediate between India and Pakistan. At the meeting, Mr Erdogan assured India of his country's full support in the fight against terrorism, which PM Modi described as a "shared worry".

Here are the top 10 highlights from President Erdogan's visit to India:

  1. "The President and I are clear that the strength of our economies presents an enormous opportunity to expand and deepen commercial linkages between our countries," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said as the two leaders jointly addressed the media after their bilateral meeting.

  2. The Prime Minister said they had held detailed discussions on counter-terrorism. "Nations of the world need to work as one to disrupt terrorist networks and their financing and put a stop to cross-border movement of terrorists...We agreed that no intent, goal, reason or rationale can validate terrorism."

  3. The talks happened on a day when Pakistani troops crossed the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and killed and mutilated two Indian soldiers.

  4. Asked if Mr Erdogan's proposal of multilateral dialogue on Kashmir had figured during the meeting between the two leaders, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said India's position that Kashmir is its integral part is very sharp and publicly known. "We conveyed our viewpoint clearly on terrorism and Kashmir (to the Turkish side). It was made clear that there cannot be any justification for terrorism whatever is the intent. We clearly conveyed that the issue of Kashmir is essentially an issue of terrorism.

  5. Mr Baglay said Mr Erdogan was told that "we have been victims of cross-border terrorism and and state-sponsored terrorism for 40 years. As far as Kashmir issue is concerned, we have always been ready to resolve it with Pakistan. Not only Kashmir but also all other bilateral issues should be resolved in a peaceful manner. The Turkish side heard it with "care and attention," the official said.

  6. President Erdogan expressed his support for India's bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. Calling for reforms in the world body, he said, "India, with a population of 1.3 billion is not a part of the UNSC. Over 1.7 billion people live in the Islamic world but they too are not a part of the UNSC. This is not a healthy sign".

  7. India and Turkey have decided to increase their bilateral trade from $6.4 billion to $10 billion by 2020," Mr Baglay said. Mr Erdogan travelled to India with a 250-member business delegation.

  8. In the interview to WION news channel ahead of his visit, Mr Erdogan had said, "We should not allow more casualties to occur. By having a multi-lateral dialogue, (in which) we can be involved, we can seek ways to settle the issue once and for all."

  9. This is President Erdogan's first foreign visit after winning a controversial referendum on April 16 which further consolidated his executive powers.

  10. After thwarting a coup attempt in July last year,  the President had ordered a crackdown on schools, universities, media, police and judiciary which were suspected to have links with Fethullah Gulen, an exiled Islamic cleric living in the US who Erdogan believes was behind the coup.