Syria, India.. close political, economic and cultural relations

Damascus, SANA – Syria and India historically maintained cordial political, economic and cultural relations that are based on mutual respect and continuous development through exchanging official visits and signing cooperation agreements.

The trade and economic relations between the two countries have witnessed a significant growth over the last few years following President Bashar al-Assad’s visit to India in 2008. During the visit, joint ventures and partnerships have been created in economy, agriculture, culture, oil, gas, archeology and technology laying strong foundation for close and deep bilateral relations between Syria and India.

The visit of the Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil and her husband Devisingh Shekhawat to Syria in 2010 contributed to further consolidation of Syrian-Indian cooperation. During the visit, two MOUs for cooperation in the fields of media and culture and a cultural exchange program were signed, in addition to other agreements on industry and trade facilitations.

On the political level, Syria supported India’s election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2011/2012, and reiterated its support for India’s permanent membership of the UNSC. Meantime, India was among the friendly states which stood by the Syrian people to face the terrorist war that is backed by western and regional powers.

On January 26th every year, India celebrates the Republic Day. It is a day to remember when India’s constitution came into force on January 26, 1950, completing the country’s transition toward becoming an independent republic.

India has always stressed, in several international and political circles, the need to combat terrorism which hit Syria and the importance of realizing threats posed by it on international security and stability. It also reiterated rejection to foreign intervention in other states’ affairs and voiced support to all efforts aiming to reach a political solution to the crisis in Syria that preserves its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Not to mention its continued support to Syria’s right to restore the Occupied Syrian Golan.

Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs, Walid al-Moallem paid an official visit to India in January 2016 during which he met his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj. The talks dealt with enhancing relations in electricity, oil, agriculture, technical and academic field.

Indian Minister of State for External Affairs, Mobashar Jawed Akbar visited Syria in August 2016 during which he met President Bashar al-Assad and other Syrian officials and expressed India’s support to Syria in its war on terrorism.

Syria participated in the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC), launched by the Indian government in 1964 with the aim of achieving mutual benefit in technical and human development. The program provides opportunities to Syrian students to be trained at renowned educational institutions in India. Till 2016, the number of Syrians who benefited from the program reached 1000 students.

On scientific and cultural levels, Nine Syrian Robotics teams participated in the World Robot Olympiad held in the Indian capital, Delhi, in 2016 where the Syrian “Build It” team won the second place.

R.Raslan / Ghossoun

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