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G20 Summit: No structured meeting between Modi, Obama

india Updated: Nov 16, 2015 23:14 IST
Timsy Jaipuria
Timsy Jaipuria
Hindustan Times
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, prior to their meeting at the G-20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. (AP Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the margins of the G20 Summit on Monday to discuss terror and other issues though there was no structured meeting with President Barack Obama.

“There are various pull asides, what I mean is a structured bilateral meeting with President Obama has not happened,” said external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

Modi and Obama were together at many working sessions of the G20 Summit and a dinner hosted by Erdogan. “They were together in the leaders lounge for over 45 minutes. They were together at lunch, they were together at dinner. So I am sure they have had conversations,” Swarup said.

Before embarking on his visit to Britain and Turkey six days ago, the Prime Minister had tweeted: “President Obama & I look forward to meeting in Turkey during the G20 Summit.”

During the two-day summit which was overshadowed by the terror attacks in Paris instead of discussing the usual economic issues, Obama held a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladmir Putin.

During the meeting between Modi and Erdogan, the two sides discussed the possibilities of deeper economic ties and issues of mutual interest, including a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement.

Swarup said Modi brought up the “Make in India” and “Smart City” initiatives and sought Turkey’s support for membership of four export control regimes – the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement.

UN reforms, civil nuclear cooperation, cooperation in space and agricultural research too came up for discussions, he said.

Modi also met Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and discussed cooperation in counter-terrorism, economic areas and marine security.

During the day, Modi held talks with the Saudi King and South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

These meetings followed Modi’s meeting on Sunday with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, after which the two sides announced the conclusion of a bilateral civil nuclear deal that will enable India to source uranium from Australia for peaceful purposes.