In­dia, Turkey re­la­tions on good foot­ing de­spite con­cerns

SP's MAI - - FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK - Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

The Pres­i­dent of Turkey Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan was in In­dia on a state visit re­cently and there were many take-aways from that visit, though there are nig­gling dif­fer­ences be­tween the two an­cient coun­tries. In­dia and Turkey have dif­fer­ences over the sta­tus of Kash­mir and North­ern Cyprus, but that has not stopped the two na­tions from strength­en­ing re­la­tions. Both na­tions be­lieve that eco­nomic and trade re­la­tions can be more com­pre­hen­sive and In­dia be­lieves that eco­nomic-re­la­tions can help in wean­ing away Turkey from Pak­istan. The two lead­ers – Er­do­gan and Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi met to fur­ther seal the strong bi­lat­eral ties the coun­tries have.

One of the big­gest take-aways from the visit was that the two lead­ers en­dorsed that they would work to­gether to deal with ter­ror­ism. Though Er­do­gan never men­tioned Pak­istan, he did state that cross-bor­der ter­ror­ism had po­ten­tial to dis­rupt economies. Both sides did not ex­pect the visit to be trans­for­ma­tional in the re­la­tion­ship. Writes Ran­jit Ku­mar, the is­sues of Kash­mir and North­ern Cyprus have been the prin­ci­pal stum­bling blocks in de­vel­op­ing closer po­lit­i­cal and strate­gic re­la­tions be­tween the two na­tions. And the re­cent tur­moil in Turkey wherein Er­do­gan man­aged to come out of the cri­sis have all added the cold­ness in bi­lat­eral re­la­tions as Turkey is ask­ing for the de­por­ta­tion of the Fethulla Gulen group mem­bers re­sid­ing in In­dia. But this did not stop the two lead­ers from ex­tend­ing their co­op­er­a­tion to check ter­ror­ism and Er­do­gan’s ref­er­ence to cross­bor­der ter­ror­ism, though he did not name Pak­istan, is a sig­nif­i­cant take-away from the meet­ing.

The next con­nect for Prime Min­is­ter Modi will be Israel which he is vis­it­ing in July and the visit is to mark 25 years of es­tab­lish­ment of In­dia-Israel diplo­matic re­la­tions, al­low­ing in­creased eco­nomic, cul­tural and se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion. The bi­lat­eral trade be­tween In­dia and Israel is over $2 bil­lion. The visit is go­ing to be a his­toric one.

Talk­ing about his­toric, In­dia’s space tech­nol­ogy, yet again showed to the world what it is ca­pa­ble of In­dia launched the ‘South Asia Satel­lite’ that will pro­vide a full range of ap­pli­ca­tions (Very small aper­ture ter­mi­nals; di­rect-to-home ser­vices; tele-medicine; tele-ed­u­ca­tion; broad­cast; me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal; dis­as­ter man­age­ment sup­port, etc) and ser­vices to all of In­dia’s neigh­bours. In his anal­y­sis, Air Mar­shal B.K. Pandey (Retd) states that the im­pact of the South Asia com­mu­ni­ca­tion satel­lite will be more geopo­lit­i­cal in na­ture and its in­flu­ence on the re­la­tion­ship be­tween In­dia and other na­tions of SAARC will def­i­nitely be of sig­nif­i­cance.

In his fort­nightly viewpoint, Lt Gen­eral P.C. Ka­toch (Retd) writes about how pric­ing and tech­nol­ogy trans­fer are be­com­ing hur­dles in the Indo-Rus­sian Kamov he­li­copter deal. The dis­agree­ment is over the joint pro­duc­tion of Kamov 226T light util­ity he­li­copters that was an­nounced as the first ma­jor ‘Make in In­dia’ pro­ject.

The govern­ment on May 10 has ap­proved the ap­point­ment of West Ben­gal cadre and 1982 batch of­fi­cer San­jay Mi­tra as the next De­fence Sec­re­tary. Mi­tra, who was hold­ing the charge of Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Road Trans­port and High­ways till now, has been ap­pointed of­fi­cer-on-spe­cial-duty in the de­fence min­istry and will as­sume charge on May 24 when in­cum­bent G. Mo­han Ku­mar re­tires.

Happy read­ing !

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