Ansari meets Turkey top leaders

Ankara (Turkey): Vice President Hamid Ansari today met Turkey`s top leadership including President Abdullah Gul and Prime Prime Minister Racep Tayyip Erdogan and discussed issues of bilateral importance. He also met Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (GNAT) Cemil Cicek.

Ansari, who is on a six-day tour of country to boost trade ties and mutual cooperation on shared international concerns, held delegation level talks with members of the Turkish GNAT. Accompanied by his wife Salma, Ansari visited the mausoleum the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the afternoon, where he remarked that his leadership was a source of inspiration for India`s freedom movement.

After paying homage to the departed soul, Ansari wrote in the Golden Book at mausoleum, "It is an honour for me to pay my homage and respects to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a statesman, visionary leader, and the founder of the Republic of Turkey. "His leadership in the war of independence of Turkey was a source of inspiration for India`s freedom movement.

"The ideals symbolized by Mustafa Kemal Pasha continue to inspire secular, liberal and democratic people the world over." Ansari`s visit focuses on creating a new paradigm of bilateral relations between the two countries and comes just a month before the crucial conference on Afghanistan being held at Istanbul in November this year, when the countries are expected to discuss the areas of mutual cooperation in the conflict resolution of the strife-torn nation. This is first such high level visit from India to Turkey after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee`s visit here in 2003.