India and Turkey to hold extensive bilateral Talks Today

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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu will hold wide-ranging talks on a range of bilateral and regional issues which may include deliberations on situation in West Asia and ways to counter threat of terrorism. Earlier this month, Turkey had asked India to act against the institutions affiliated to the network of Fethullah Gulen, blamed for last month's failed coup to topple President Tayyip Erdogan, and the issue may figure in the discussions between the two foreign ministers.

 

"The entire gamut of bilateral relations as well as multilateral and regional issues are likely to be discussed during the talks,' External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said. Cavusoglu will also call on Vice President Hamid Ansari on Friday. During his three-day visit, the Turkish Foreign Minister is also scheduled to visit Hyderabad on August 20 to open the Turkish Consulate building.

 

Relations between India and Turkey have witnessed steady progress. The bilateral trade is also increasing and touched USD 6.3 billion last year. "We hope the visit of the Turkish Foreign Minister will further strengthen our bilateral ties," said Swarup. This Cavusoglu's first official visit to India. He was in India on a transit halt last year and had met Swaraj.

 

President Erdogan has vowed to take strong action against those linked to Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who he had blamed for the July 15 coup attempt. Tens of thousands of troops, civil servants, judges and officials have already been detained or dismissed in a massive crackdown following the failed coup.

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