Turkey briefs India on Muslim cleric’s role in coup attempt

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) After Turkey requested India to take action against oganisations and educational institutions in India which are affiliated to Fethullah Gulen, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday briefed External Affairs Minister Sushma on the role of the Muslim cleric’s organisation in last month’s coup attempt in his country.

“There were discussions on the terrorist attacks in Turkey and the internal developments in Turkey, including the recent coup attempt,” sources here said following a meeting between the two ministers.

“In this context, the Turkish side briefed about the role of Fethullah Gulen-led organisation FETO in the attempted coup,” they said.

At least 40,030 persons have been detained and 20,355 others arrested in the aftermath of the coup attempt on July 15, in which 237 lives were lost.

Turkey has accused US-based Gulen of organising the failed coup.

The External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday that Turkey’s request has been passed on to relevant Indian authorities to investigate the matter.

In Friday’s meeting, the entire gamut of bilateral relations as well as important global and regional issues of mutual interest was discussed, it is learnt

“On the multilateral front, there were discussions on the need for reform in UN Security Council,” the sources said.

“India’s application for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) also featured in the discussions,” they said, adding that Turkey confirmed support for this as it had earlier for India’s membership in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

The two ministers exchanged views on regional developments, particularly in West Asia, where the security situation has become alarming from the perspective of both the countries.

On the economic front, priority was given on convening the next session of Joint Economic Commission (JEC), which has been a very useful bilateral mechanism to discuss ways for increasing the bilateral trade and economic cooperation

.The annual bilateral trade was $6.3 billion last year.

Other areas of bilateral interests were cooperation in areas like culture, education, energy, and tourism.

With a cultural exchange programme in place, discussions are currently on for concluding an educational exchange programme between the two sides.

During the course of Cavusoglu ‘s visit, the External Affairs Ministry and the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry finalised a road map for cooperation between the two countries in a wide variety of fields in the coming years.

According to the sources, the road map proposes regular exchanges between the two countries at the political and official level to discuss bilateral matters as well as important global and regional issues of mutual concern.

Cooperation for building closer economic ties through joint committee meetings, joint working groups, closer cooperation between business and industry associations and participation in trade fair and road shows is envisaged.

Cavusoglu also called on Vice President Hamid Ansari here on Friday.

This is the first official visit to India of Cavusoglu who was in India on a transit halt last year when he met Sushma Swaraj.

Cavusoglu will also visit Hyderabad on Saturday where he will officially open the Turkish consulate building.

–IANS

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