Ankara: The Eleventh Session of India-Turkey Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs) was held in Ankara on Friday where both the countries exchanged views on bilateral and global issues.

Minister of External Affairs Secretary West, Sanjay Verma, led the Indian delegation for the FOC. Taking to Twitter, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi wrote, "Secretary West @SanjayVermalFS led the Indian delegation for the 11th Session of India-Turkiye Foreign Office Consultations held in Ankara today. Useful exchange of views on bilateral, multilateral and global issues."

The last round of consultations was held on 8 May 2019 in New Delhi. During the visit, Turkey's Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal had a meeting with Gitesh A Sarma, Secretary (West), in New Delhi on May 8, 2019, under the institutional mechanism of Foreign Office Consultations.

Deputy Foreign Minister Onal and Secretary (West) held cordial discussions on various aspects of bilateral ties including examining opportunities for enhancing trade and investment relations. Currently, the bilateral trade stands at around USD 8.6 billion with a target to reach USD 10 billion by 2020.

Other aspects such as enhanced cultural interaction, tourism, and people-to-people contacts were also discussed. The two sides had also reviewed the situation in their respective regions and also exchanged views on several multilateral issues.

Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs) at the Secretary level between the two countries were institutionalized through a Protocol signed in April 2000.

The 4th meeting of the Joint Working Group on Counter-terrorism was held in Ankara on July 4, 2019. A new bilateral mechanism "India-Turkey Policy Planning Dialogue" was institutionalized between the two Foreign Ministries with the first round held virtually on October 22, 2020.

India and Turkey enjoy close, friendly and deep-rooted ties dating back several centuries and share civilizational links. The recent political exchanges have imparted fresh momentum to our bilateral ties and opened several new avenues for cooperation.