Damascus, SANA – Presidential Political and Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban met on Sunday Deputy Foreign Minister of the Philippines Jesus I. Yabes and the accompanying delegation.
During the meeting, Shaaban hailed the fact that the Philippines has always maintained a good stance throughout the ongoing crisis in the country and has always been keen to send delegates to Syria to see the situation firsthand and not depend on what is circulated by Western media.
The Pilipino official, for his part, said his current visit to Syria has clarified a lot, noting that he will convey what he has seen and come to know about the situation in Syria to the government of the Philippines.
He noted that the situation in Syria is getting better steadily, stressing that his country supports the legitimate Syrian government and has stood by Syria under the most difficult circumstances and has not closed its embassy in Damascus despite all pressure.
Yabes said the top priority now should be combating terrorism which the Syrian government is engaged in serious fight against, noting that he will advice his government to work to the effect of having the blockade imposed on Syria by the US and its allies lifted.
He expressed desire to sign agreements with Syria which were prepared before the crisis started, particularly in the tourist field.
In a statement to reporters following the meeting, the Pilipino Deputy Foreign Minister said the relations between Syria and his country are strong and that cooperation still continues.
He said he encourages the people of his country to visit Syria and get acquainted with its civilization and the holy places in it.
Yabes, who is Deputy Foreign Minister for Foreign Employment Affairs, met with Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad.
He voiced his gratitude that the Filipino workers and expatriates in Syria are living in dignity and are being treated with respect.
He referred to the measures which the Syrian government has taken since the beginning of the crisis in Syria to facilitate the affairs of the Filipino workers, maintain their rights and secure departure for those who are willing to leave the country.
Later, Interior Minister Mohammad al-Shaar met with Yabes.
M. al-Frieh/H. Said