New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during which they discussed improvement in bilateral relations and the recent Indo-Pak tensions.

The conversation capped a hectic day of diplomacy on Monday with West Asian countries during which PM Modi met Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al Jubeir and also spoke with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

Modi sought “immediate, demonstrable and irreversible action” against terrorism by all countries while Erdogan expressed his condolences for the deaths in Pulwama, according to readouts here and in Ankara.

Erdogan was among the world leaders who had played an active role in defusing tensions after the Indian aerial strike at Balakot. Turkey and India, under Erdogan and Modi, share a similar approach towards terrorism. Turkey had unsuccessfully tried to end a Kurdish insurgency by pursuing the rebels to their bases in Iraq. However, they differ on the solution to the Kashmir problem. But both are now at the receiving end of American ire for contracting military systems from Russia.

Erdogan has linked the US threat to stop Turkey from enjoying concessional duty on its exports to a deal it had signed for an advanced Russian missile system and said there would be no going back. India’s approach to the withdrawal of zero duty on exports to the US worth Rs 40,000 crore has not been adversarial.

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale is currently in Washington and conveyed India’s willingness to remain engaged on all issues of discord in trade.

Separately, India has sought exemption from US sanctions for import of a similar Russian military system. Some Chinese entities and officials have already been sanctioned by the US for purchasing Russian fighter planes and missiles. 
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