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India cut out of Turkey talks

world Updated: Nov 30, 2010 00:41 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is reported to have asked Turkey for assistance in dealing with Pakistan, according to a Turkish diplomat quoted in a state department cable published by WikiLeaks.

Seeking Turkey's help would be a unusual move by India as it has always balked at a third party involvement in solving its problems with Pakistan, which are hinged on Kashmir.

Turkish president Abdullah Gul was in India for a five-day state visit in February, just a week before the US embassy in Ankara sent this cable home on a series of meetings held by visiting undersecretary of state William Burns.

In one of the meetings on Afghanistan and Pakistan, Turkish foreign ministry official Engin Soysal told Burns of Prime Minister Singh's request to President Gul during the latter's visit.

"Acting on that request, Gul had phoned Pakistani President (Asif) Zardari, who was skeptical of Indian intentions," Soysal is reported to have told Burns according to the leaked cable.

At the same meeting in Ankara, Soysal told Burns that turkey had kept India out of a "neighbours' summit" to keep Pakistan happy. Also adding Pakistan understands it's a mistake to keep India out of any such regional grouping.