NEW DELHI -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday assured India of his country's full support in the fight against terrorism as he held "extensive" discussion on this evolving threat with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who described it as a "shared worry".
Holding that "no intent or goal or reason or rationale can validate terrorism", Modi, at a joint press event with Erdogan, said the two sides have decided to work together to deepen cooperation, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to effectively counter this menace.
In an obvious reference to Pakistan-based terror groups, Modi said countries across the world need to "work as one to disrupt the terrorist networks and their financing and put a stop to cross-border movement of terrorists".
They also need to stand and act against those that conceive and create, support and sustain, shelter and spread these instruments and ideologies of violence, the prime minister added.
Condemning the Naxal attack on CRPF personnel on April 24 in Sukma, in which 25 of them were killed, Erdogan said, "Turkey will always be by the side of India in full solidarity while battling terrorism... And terrorists will be drowned in the blood they shed."
Turkey will always be by the side of India in full solidarity while battling terrorism: Turkish President Erdogan pic.twitter.com/2aVGoCoY4t
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 1, 2017
Ahead of his visit to India, Erdogan had pitched for a multilateral dialogue to resolve the Kashmir issue to ensure peace in the region.
"We should not allow more casualties to occur (in Kashmir). By having a multilateral dialogue, (in which) we can be involved, we can seek ways to settle the issue once and for all," he had told a TV channel in an interview.
The remarks are contrary to the position of India, which maintains that the Jammu and Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter between it and Pakistan, and that there is no scope for a third party mediation.
Modi and the visiting dignitary had comprehensive discussion and took stock of full range of bilateral relations, including political and economic.
Referring to changing times where societies face new threats and challenges every day, Modi said the context and contours of some of the exiting and emerging security challenges globally are "our common concern".
"In particular, the constantly evolving threat from terrorism is our shared worry. I held an extensive conversion with the Turkish president on this subject. We agreed that no intent or goal or reason or rationale can validate terrorism," the prime minister said.
The two leaders, who addressed a India-Turkey business forum earlier in the day, also pitched for enhanced trade and business ties.
Observing that India and Turkey are two large economies which present an enormous opportunity to expand and deepen commercial linkages, Modi said at the level of the two governments, there is a need to approach the entire landscape of business opportunities in a strategic and long-term manner.
"Our bilateral trade turnover of around 6 billion dollars does not do full justice to convergences in our economies. Clearly, the business and industry on both sides can do much more," he added.
Erdogan also emphasised the need to increase the bilateral trade to at least USD 10 billion, as soon as possible, and added that the countries will look at ways to expand cooperation in the energy and infrastructure sectors, in particular.
After Modi-Erdogan meet, the two sides exchanged three pacts, including one between their telecom authorities.
This is Erdogan's first foreign tour after winning a controversial referendum on April 16 that further consolidated his executive powers.
The Turkish leader arrived here yesterday on a two-day visit.
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