India and Turkey on Tuesday agreed that greater international cooperation was needed to counter the scourge of terrorism that is affecting both countries during bilateral talks that also reviewed regional and international developments including the upcoming Istanbul conference on Afghanistan.
During his meetings with top Turkish leaders, Vice-President Hamid Ansari reiterated New Delhi's position that any solution to Afghanistan must be led by its people with Ankara recognising the role being played by New Delhi in assisting Kabul in reconstruction. Mr. Ansari also briefed the hosts about the recent visit of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai to India during which both countries signed a strategic cooperation pact.
The Indian vote on Syria in the U.N. Security Council also figured prominently during the meetings as Turkey shares open borders with the country.
The Vice-President conveyed India's deep grief over recent terror attack in Turkey. Both countries have a Joint Working Group and a strategic dialogue. National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon is scheduled to visit Turkey early next year.
Briefing media on the meeting with Turkey President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Speaker of the Grand National Assembly Cemil Cicek and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Secretary (Public Diplomacy) Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty said the talks reflected the warmth in the bilateral relations and added contemporary content to the historic ties between the two countries.
While Turkish Parliament that is in session accorded a rousing reception to the delegation led by Mr. Ansari, on a personal note Mr. Cicek presented him with a photograph of his great granduncle Mukhtar Ansari, who led a medical mission to Turkey in 1913.
The Turkish side also evinced keen interest in the electronic voting machines being used in India.