India has cut down its defence exports to Turkey, including explosives and detonators, due to Ankara’s growing military cooperation with Islamabad, with whom New Delhi has had a decades-long strained relationship, the Economic Times reported, citing sources.
According to the sources cited by the Economic Times, India’s decision to cut down defence exports to Ankara is a precautionary measure aimed at minimising the risk that such equipment would be used against India’s domestic interests.
Additionally, the sources said that there was a small likelihood that India would be renewing defence exports to Ankara in the near future due to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments on the Kashmir issue, which New Delhi has repeatedly stated is an internal matter.
On Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi cancelled a two-day trip to Turkey, citing Erdogan’s statement on the India-Pakistan disputed region of Kashmir as a cause.
In late September, during his UN General Assembly speech, Erdogan called for an India-Pakistan dialogue on the long-disputed region of Kashmir. India responded saying the Turkish president’s statement was “biased and unwarranted” and told the Turkish government to get a deeper understanding of the issue, which was an internal matter for India and Pakistan.
Although Ankara and New Delhi have traditionally been seen as allies, Turkey is now seen to be cosying up to Pakistan. Last week, Ankara backed Islamabad at the Financial Action Task Force in Paris, helping Pakistan avoid being blacklisted by the global anti-money laundering watchdog.