New Delhi, Jun 19: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who is on a five-day visit to India, held talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday. The two leaders reportedly discussed the whole range of bilateral issues with a focus on enhancing trade and economic ties.
Earlier, Bashar al-Assad, talking to media after the ceremonial reception at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan said that Syria recognizes the increasing importance of India in world politics and looks forward to India's active participation in the Middle East peace process.The two countries also signed three agreements in the presence of President al-Assad and Prime Minister Dr Singh.
The agreement on mutual promotion and protection of investment between the two countries and agreement on avoidance of the double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect of taxes on income were signed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Syrian Minister for Economy Amer Housni Lutfi.
The agreement on a work plan under memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors for 2008-09 was signed by Syrian Junior Foreign Minister Ahmed Arnous and Agriculture Secretary P.K. Mishra. In the evening, President al-Assad will meet his Indian counterpart Pratibha Devisingh Patil.
Vice President Hamid Ansari, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani will call on the visiting dignitary.
On Thursday, Al-Assad will leave for Bangalore. He is also scheduled to travel to Agra, the city of famous Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world.