India appreciates Türkiye’s Russia-Ukraine peace efforts and initiative on the Grain Corridor Agreement, Turkey’s ambassador to New Delhi said on Friday.
Firat Sunel told Anadolu Agency that various issues, including Afghanistan and Ukraine, are high on both countries’ agendas.
Like Türkiye, India wants to end the war in Ukraine as soon as possible through diplomacy and dialogue, Sunel said.
“In this context, Türkiye’s efforts to bring about a ceasefire and the opening of a grain corridor, which is important for global food security, have been recognized both in India and around the world,” he added.
Both countries have the potential to develop cooperation on issues that threaten the entire world, such as climate change, counter-terrorism and food security, the envoy said.
Noting that the ties between the peoples of the two countries go back a long way, Sunel added that the Turkish War of Independence also inspired India’s independence movement.
Regarding tourism, he said that in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic, a record 230,000 Indian tourists visited Türkiye.
Like the rest of the world, the pandemic has halted travel between the two countries, he added.
However, it is now picking up again, especially after direct flights resumed in March, he added.
“We expect to welcome approximately 250,000 Indian visitors to our country by the end of this year,” he said.
Noting that tourism is an important way to promote mutual interaction, Sunel stressed the importance of increasing the number of flights and destinations between countries.
He went on to explain that despite a drop in mutual trade in 2020 due to the pandemic last year, the two countries posted a record $9.2 billion.
“We see our trade with India continuing to grow in 2022. We believe that if current trends continue, bilateral trade volume will easily exceed $10 billion by the end of the year.”
“Increasing contacts between our peoples, heirs of two ancient civilizations, and developing cultural ties are among the issues we are prioritizing.” Sunel said, noting that Indian productions on Turkish TV and Turkish productions on Indian TV showed the closeness of the two countries’ cultures.
He stressed that there is great potential between the two nations in many areas, from archaeology, to faith tourism, to health, education and gastronomy tourism.
*Writing from Seda Sevencan in Istanbul
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