India Reassures Support for Reconstruction in Syria
Shri T.S. Tirumurti, Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and Shri B. Bala Bhaskar, Joint Secretary (WANA) paid a two-day visit to Damascus, Syria between 19 – 21 May, 2019.
During the visit, Secretary (ER) and delegation, which included the Indian Ambassador Dr Hifzur Rahman, held meetings with the Syrian leadership, including Prime Minister H.E. Eng. Imad Khamis, Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Waleed Moallem, Head of the Planning Commission for International Cooperation Mr. Imad Sabouni, Ministers of Electricity (Zouher Kharboutli), Industry (Maan Zein al Abdin), Petroleum & Mineral Resources (Ali Ghanim) and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs & Expatriates (Dr. Faisal Mekdad). They also called on the Grand Mufti of Syria Dr. Ahmad Hassoun.
During his discussions, Secretary (ER) Shri T.S. Tirumurti underlined the historical and close links between the two countries. The Syrian side was deeply appreciative of India’s consistent political support to Syria especially in the recent past during the period of conflict. Secretary (ER) reiterated the need to respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and underlined the need for a Syria-led political process.
The two sides condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including cross-border terrorism. The Indian side thanked the Syrian side for their support, including during the recent terrorist attack in India.
India and Syria resolved to work together in the reconstruction process. India has already taken up the construction of the Tishreen Power Plant under an Indian Line of Credit. India will also upgrade India-Syria Centre for Excellence in Information Technology. Closer collaboration in a range of other areas is also envisaged, including in energy particularly solar power.
India and Syria have always been working closely in the areas of education and capacity building. The Syrian side thanked the Indian side for extending full financial assistance for an additional 400 Syrian students to study in Indian universities/institutions of higher learning. Secretary (ER) promised to enhance training slots under the ITEC. More than 60 Syrian diplomats were recently trained in the Foreign Service Institute, New Delhi.
The Indian side thanked the Syrian side for their consistent support for India’s candidature in the UN and other international organizations.
India will also be holding a camp for world-renowned ‘Jaipur Foot’ – an artificial limb fitment camp organized by BMVSS, Rajasthan. This offer of holding the Jaipur Foot Camp, in the context of ‘India for Humanity’ Initiative launched to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, was welcomed by the Syrian side.