Turkish PM comes to India Thursday

November 19th, 2008 - 8:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) India and Turkey, a secular Muslim-majority country that is seeking to join the European Union, are set to energize their political and economic ties when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan comes here on a four-day visit Thursday. This will be the first visit by a Turkish prime minister to India in two decades.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Friday on a wide array of bilateral, regional and global issues, including terrorism, global financial crisis and the intensification of economic ties between the two countries.

The two leaders are expected to focus on the role of emerging economies in addressing issues relating to the ongoing global financial meltdown and make a pitch for reforms of international financial institutions.

They last met at the G20 summit of developed and developing countries on the financial crisis in Washington Nov 15. India and Turkey were among developing countries who were invited to the summit.

The Iranian nuclear standoff with the West will also figure in discussions. The Turkish leader has offered to mediate in resolving the crisis relating to Iran’s nuclear programme, which the West suspects is aimed at making atomic bombs.

Erdogan, a popular pro-Islamic politician who is trying to recast himself a business-friendly conservative, will also meet top Indian business leaders and ask them to scale up investment in his country. He will also visit Agra and Bangalore.

A number of economic agreements are likely to be signed between the two countries.

The Turkish prime minister’s visit comes close on the heels of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s trip to India.

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