Syria favours stronger ties with India

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New Delhi, Jan 7 (ANI): To strengthen relationship with India, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's envoy, Bouthaina Shaaban, is in New Delhi to sort out the obstacles in pending agreements between the two countries.

Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Advisor at the Syrian Presidency and former Minister of Expatriates, is meeting Indian authorities to have stronger and wider relations with India.

"Since the visit to India of President Assad in June 2008, the Syrian Government has been working under his instructions to try and conclude agreements and push co-ordination with India forward in fields like technical collaboration, information, agriculture and higher education," she said.

"We have concluded some important contracts with India like construction of energy station in Syria. And now I am here to see where are the difficulties and obstacles in finalising other pending agreements. And, how could we work in removing these difficulties," Shaaban said.

Commenting on India's role in peace process in West Asia, she said: "India has always been a supporter of the peace process; of course India supports Arab cause and our territorial claims."

Shaaban further said that the root cause of the problem is an 'extremist Israeli Government, which doesn't favour peace in the region'.

"There is no peace. Even US President Barack Obama is trying to pressurise Israel to settle down for a peace process. But they don't. Unfortunately no country can do anything if one party like Israel can't accept peace," she said.

Shaaban said that she was not carrying any message from Syrian President for New Delhi on how to bring peace in West Asia.

"I don't have any message on peace process because President Assad is very clear about what he wants in peace process, our territorial claims and about Arab rights. The Israel Government is killing Arabs, including Palestinians, everyday. So there is no point in talking to them anyway."

She said that the Israeli Government is just interested in uprooting Palestinians, and accused it of creating another Holocaust in the region.

"Many Jews project the reality of Holocaust. They also protest against the genocide of Palestinians. So many Jews in the world who were Holocaust survivors went on hunger strike in support of Palestinians. It shows the severity of the situation.

"The reality is that this is not a religious conflict. This is not between Jews, Muslims, and Christians. They are all living like brothers and sisters for thousands of years. This is a political issue. The Jews are not in favour of the acts perpetrated by Israeli Government," Shaaban said.

She said that it is not difficult to have peace in the region and for that "we need an Israeli government which believes in international law, human rights and international understanding." By Praful Kumar SIngh (ANI)

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