Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday stressed the need to increase the trade volume between Ankara and New Delhi to at least $10 billion as soon as possible.
Addressing a joint press conference along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, Erdogan expressed the intention to cement ties with India in all areas, with a particular focus on bilateral trade.
Erdogan arrived in India late Sunday for a three-day visit, the first trip from Turkey's presidential level in seven years.
Stressing India's importance in terms of its geography and economy, Erdogan said, “We see India plays a critical role in all international developments in Asia.”
Modi agreed and said the two countries should forge stronger business ties.
“We would like to encourage stronger partnerships with Turkish companies over our flagship programs and projects."
Before the press conference, the two countries signed agreements on bilateral cooperation, culture, and communication.
India -- which has the second-largest Muslim population in the world -- is a member of the G20 and is one of the so-called BRICS countries -- a group of five major emerging economies along with Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa.
TRT World's Andrew Hopkins reports from New Delhi.
Erdogan reiterates call to reform UNSC
In a separate appearance, Turkey's president reiterated his call to reform the United Nations Security Council.
"In general, the United Nations' structure, but in particular the United Nations Security Council structure must be reformed as soon as possible," Erdogan told Jamia Millia Islamia University, where he received an honorary doctorate.
"For example, who can say that the United Nations Security Council has a healthy structure when it doesn't include India, which has a population of 1.3 billion?" Erdogan asked.
"How can the UNSC be fair when the Muslim world's 1.7 billion population isn't represented?"
Erdogan has repeatedly said in recent years that "the world is bigger than five," calling for reforms to the UN body so "the fate of the world’s 196 states" no longer depends on the five permanent Security Council members.
Fight against terror
Erdogan said Turkey and India will never bow down to terrorism.
“We, as two friend countries, will never give terrorism any opportunity to make us bow down,” he told reports at the joint press conference with Modi.
“Turkey is in full solidarity with India in their fight against terrorism. The aim of terror organisations is to discourage…. It is not important how much effort they make, terrorists will certainly drown in the blood they spill,” he said.