India, Syria hold talks on situation in the war-torn country
India and Syria today held wide- ranging talks, focusing largely on the internal situation in the war-torn country and the UN-backed peace process aimed at ending the strife which has claimed lives of over 2.5 lakh people in the last five years.
Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Walid Al Moualem, during the talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, appreciated India for its support to the people of Syria and its position in finding a solution to the civil war.
Swaraj conveyed to Moualem, who is also Minister of Foreign Affairs, that India was sending medicines worth USD 1 million to Syria soon. India will announce further assistance to the country during a conference on Syria in London on February 4.
She also sought Syria's help in ascertaining status of 39 Indians who were taken hostage by ISIS militants from Iraqi city of Mosul in June 2014. Moualem assured Swaraj that he will use his sources in Iraq to know whereabouts of the Indians.
The Syrian Deputy Prime Minister met National Security Adviser Ajit Doval last evening during which challenge of combating terrorism, particularly to deal with ISIS, is understood to have figured.
Moualem, who visited Russia and China before arriving here yesterday, gave a detailed exposition of how Russian air strikes have weakened the capabilities of ISIS in Syria as well as about the UN-backed peace initiative.
"The Syrian Deputy Prime Minister appreciated India for its support to people of Syria," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said. India has been consistently maintaining that a solution to the conflict must be found through a Syrian-led peace initiative.
Russia has been carrying out air strikes in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad since September, targeting the terror outfit ISIS which has seized vast swathes of land in that country.
India has been supportive of the Russian strikes maintaining that terror groups must be dealt with effectively.
The peace talks are slated for later this month and Moualem has already said that Syria was ready to participate in it.
The US, the UK and France are pressing for the ouster of the Syrian President to have a peaceful resolution of the conflict but Russia and China are against the move.
During the talks, the Syrian side sought help from India in the form of supply of food and medicine.
It also sought early completion of Tishreen power project being implemented by Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd (BEHL). As part of Line of Credit, India has already given USD 100 million out of USD 240 million for the plant.
The Indian side said it was ready to complete the project if Syria can give assurance of security. BHEL and Syrian Ministry of Electricity are negotiating to resume the project.
The Syrian side also requested India to complete remaining work at Hama Steel plant which is being set up by India at a cost of USD 25 million. 95 per cent of the work of the project has been completed.
India conveyed to Syria that it will be happy to hand it over soon.
India and Syria have friendly political relations. India's support for the Palestinian cause and for the return of the occupied Golan Heights to Syria is appreciated by Syrians.
President Assad had visited India in June 2008 while then President Prathibha Patil had visited Syria in November 2010.
Last month, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing a peace process in Syria to end the civil war through talks between the government and the opposition, but the draft is silent on the role of Assad in a political transition.
It called for a Syrian-led political process facilitated by the UN to establish within six months "credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance", setting a schedule for drafting a new constitution, with free and fair elections to be held within 18 months under UN supervision with all Syrians, including members of the diaspora, eligible to vote.
- Pressure Pakistan to end support for terrorist groups: US expert 12 Jan 2016 | IANS
- Rohit's brilliance propels India to 309/3 vs Australia 12 Jan 2016 | PTI
- Indira reference taken off Bihar's website as Congress objects 11 Jan 2016 | IANS
- No magic wand for Sino-Indian border issue: Former diplomat 10 Jan 2016 | PTI
- US wants Pak to act fast against Pathankot attack perpetrators 09 Jan 2016 | PTI
- Foreign currencies equivalent to Rs 56 lakh seized 09 Jan 2016 | PTI
- Pakistani, Indian foreign secretaries to meet on January 15: Aziz 09 Jan 2016 | IANS
- Pathankot attack: Pakistan needs concrete evidence from India 09 Jan 2016 | IANS
- India remains global growth champ with 7.8 percent economy expansion in 2016 08 Jan 2016 | IANS
- Doing business in India very difficult: Kejriwal 08 Jan 2016 | IANS
- Indian players wear black armbands as mark of respect to Vajpayee, Wadekar 18 Aug 2018 | PTI
- Hopeful Indians eye Asiad glory 18 Aug 2018 | IANS
- Vajpayee ashes to be immersed in rivers of Jharkhand 18 Aug 2018 | IANS
- AAP MLAs, MPs and ministers donating one-month salary for Kerala: Kejriwal 18 Aug 2018 | PTI
- PM salutes 'fighting spirit' of people of flood-hit Kerala 18 Aug 2018 | PTI
- Sidhu hopes Imran Khan's accession to PM's post will be good for Pak 18 Aug 2018 | PTI
- Kerala floods toll reaches 180, rescue operations continue 18 Aug 2018 | IANS
- Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan dies at age 80 18 Aug 2018 | AP
- Rahul urges Modi to declare Kerala floods a national disaster 18 Aug 2018 | IANS
- Imran Khan takes oath as 22nd Pakistani PM 18 Aug 2018 | IANS
Sunday EditionView All
12 Aug 2018 | Kestur Vasuki | Bengaluru
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy who is facing wrath from the farmers in the State, in an appealing gesture planted paddy saplings in solidarity on Saturday. He chose Aralukuppe village in Mandya district the heart land of vokkaliga politics sowed paddy saplings in a muddied agriculture field amidst a large gathering...
STATE EDITIONSView All
18 Aug 2018 | PNS | lOHARDAGA
Four ministers of School Children’s Parliament of Govt Middle school Narauli were felicitated for their outstanding leadership and excellent services in school management on the occasion of 72nd Independence Day. After the flag hoisting programme President Ramdayal Oraon, Prime Minister Sheela Oraon, Education Minister Anjali Oraon and Nutrition Minister Chandmuni Oraon were given certificate of appreciation and Oxford English Grammar book as prize...