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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan arrives in New Delhi on two-day India visit

Monday May 1, 2017 1:00 AM, & Agencies

Erdogan in Delhi
[On his arrival in India, Turkish President Erdogan was received by Minister of State (MoS) for Youth Affairs & Sports(IC) & Water Resources Vijay Goel at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi.]

New Delhi:
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in New Delhi on Sunday for two-day India visit. This is Erdogan's first foreign visit after winning the Turkey's constitutional referendum held on April 16 that further consolidated his executive powers.

Apart from his wife Emine Erdogan, the Turkish President is accompanied by senior cabinet ministers and a 150-member business delegation that will take part in a meeting of the India-Turkey Business Forum.

On his arrival in India, Erdogan was received by Minister of State (MoS) for Youth Affairs & Sports(IC) & Water Resources Vijay Goel at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi.

"A fresh impetus to the India Turkey relationship. I welcome Hon'ble President of Turkey @RT_Erdogan to India!", Goel tweeted after receiving Erdogan.

Goel also posted pictures of Istanbul's Grand Bazar and Delhi's Chandni Chowk, praying that Erdogan's visit will boost India Turkey ties.

"Grand Bazar and Chandni Chowk are one of many similarities between India and Turkey in heritage. Prez. @RT_Erdogan's visit will boost our ties", he said.

Goel will accompany Erdogan for the grand ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Monday.

Besides meeting President Pranab Mukherjee, Erdogan will also hold wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday on key bilateral and regional issues, including India's NSG membership bid and ways to strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism and trade.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is also set to visit Jamia Millia Islamiah where he would be conferred with Degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Caus) by the University Chancellor for which a gala ceremony has been organised by India's premium university.

"The degree will be awarded by Jamia Millia Islamiah Chancellor Lt. Gen. (Retd.) M. A. Zaki in a Special Convocation to be held at 2:30 pm Monday May 1, 2017 at the university’s Dr. M. A. Ansari Auditorium", the university said.

Ahead of his visit, India had played down proximity between Turkey and Pakistan as well as Ankara's statements on Jammu and Kashmir, saying the government is aware that Turkey has a very close relationship with Pakistan and it is their bilateral matter, according to PTI.

"We have always emphasised that India-Turkey relations stand on their own footing and, we believe, the Turkish side reciprocates our sentiment," Ruchi Ghanashyam, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs Ministry, said, adding that India's position on the state of J&K is very well known that it is an integral part of the country.

However, she did not respond when asked if India will raise the issue.

With Turkey being a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the issue of India's membership bid for the elite group is likely to figure during the talks between the two leaders.

"We remain engaged with Turkey," she had said when asked if the Indian side will raise the country's NSG bid during talks.

Turkey is not directly opposed to India's NSG membership but has been maintaining that the powerful bloc should come out with a system to consider the entry of the countries which are not signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as also supporting Pakistan's case, diplomatic sources said.

The two sides were also expected to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism during the presidential visit here.

After a failed coup in July last year to topple Erdogan, Turkey had blamed Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation (FETO) for it and said the outfit has "infiltrated" India.

Turkey had also asked India to take action against the organisation.

Asked about the action taken by India so far, she said Turkey had raised it with the government, which has noted their concern.

Calling the FETO a "secretive transnational criminal network" with presence around the world, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, during a visit here last year, had said, "Unfortunately, the FETO has also infiltrated India through associations and schools."

Issues relating to regional security, situation in the Middle East, particularly Syria, are likely to figure during talks between Modi and Erdogan.

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