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India's West Asia outreach: PM speaks to Turkey president, Saudi Arabia and UAE leaders

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 11, 2019, 11.13 PM (IST)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al Jubeir.

Terror remained the chief focus of the respective talks with the Prime Minister calling for "irreversible, verifiable and credible steps against all terrorists" without "any discrimination."

According to the Ministry of External Affairs release, PM Modi told the Turkish president that "terrorism remains one of the gravest threats to global peace and security". The Turkish president expressed his condolences for the victims of the Pulwama terror attack.

In his meeting with junior Saudi foreign minister Al Jubeir in Delhi, Prime Minister thanked the "leadership of Saudi Arabia for expressing full solidarity with India" in the fight against "terrorism in all its forms and manifestations". Al Jubeir briefed the Prime Minister on the "follow-up" of the outcomes of the recent visit of Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia to New Delhi.

There have been a number of high-level engagements between India and Saudi Arabia in the last few weeks. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in India for a state visit from February 19 to 20. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Saudi junior foreign affairs minister in the UAE on the sidelines of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministers' meet earlier in March. 

The Saudi minister also met Swaraj and agreed to set up the Strategic Partnership Council at the earliest. This is the second meeting between the two ministers in the last two weeks.

With the UAE, PM Modi thanked Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan for extending the invitation to India for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministers' meet in Abu Dhabi which took place earlier this month. The MEA release said, "He (the PM) expressed the hope that this historical participation would contribute to attaining the common objectives of peace and progress."

India was invited as the guest of honour at OIC's FMs meet for the first time much to the chagrin of Pakistan which tried to scuttle New Delhi's presence but ended up boycotting the event. This is the second interaction between the two leaders in the last 10 days.

It is interesting to know, PM Modi also had a video conference with Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during which both the leaders unveiled e-plaques for various development projects in Bangladesh.

Both leaders unveiled e-plaques for the supply of buses and trucks, inaugurated 36 community clinics, 11 water treatment plants, and extension of India's National Knowledge Network to Bangladesh. This was the sixth video conference between PM Modi and Bangladeshi PM.

During the conversation, PM reiterated India’s support to Bangladesh's development and expressed confidence that bilateral relations between the two countries would continue to grow even further.
 

Story highlights

Terror remained the chief focus of the respective talks with the Prime Minister calling for "irreversible, verifiable and credible steps against all terrorists" without "any discrimination."