Following the launch of Turkey’s offensive into Kurdish-held parts of Northern Syria yesterday (9 October), the Ministry of External Affairs has issued a statement on the same, expressing India’s concerns over the possible ramifications of the unilateral Turkish action.
The whole statement can be read below:
The statement is worded unusually strongly, and directly says that India wants Turkey to respect the territorial sovereignty of Syria. The comments may be seen in light of the fraying of ties between the two countries in recent weeks after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s speech at the UN General Assembly in which he took a pro-Pakistan stance on the Kashmir issue.
India has been swift to respond, and even before this latest verbal volley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held meetings with the heads of Cyprus and Armenia, two countries in Turkey’s neighbourhood which have had historically strained ties and disputes with Ankara.
Moreover, reports had recently emerged of a plan to halt Turkey’s participation in a multi-billion dollar project for the Indian Navy.
The pattern that is emerging seems to suggest that India is no longer willing to ignore countries’ words or actions which are adversarial to its own position on its internal affairs.