Patil affirms importance of cementing bilateral, economic ties with Syria

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New Delhi, Nov.24 (ANI): Ahead of her four-day maiden visit to the Syrian Arab Republic, Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, has said that she would use her trip to cement bilateral, commercial and economic ties.

In an interview given to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), Patil pointed out that the main goal of her visit and her talks with President al-Assad would be to give a new momentum to the bilateral relations in all fields, particularly expanding economic and commercial cooperation.

She said that during her visit, she would hold talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and meet the Speaker of the People's Assembly and the Prime Minister.

Several agreements will also be signed during the visit, she indicated.

The Indian President indicated to the importance of bolstering the political dialogue between the two countries regarding bilateral and regional issues.

She said that the existence of strong economic cooperation would form a solid basis to strengthen the relationships between the two countries, and expressed the hope for greater participation in developmental projects in Syria and India.

Patil also noted that the investment climate in both countries is encouraging and favorable, underlining India's interest in participating in the sectors of fertilizer, petroleum, power, steel, power transmission, oil and gas pipelines, railways, and transport.

The Indian President, who is currently in the UAE, told SANA before her departure from New Delhi on November 21, that she would be addressing and interacting with Syrian businessmen and industrialists to find new prospects for bolstering and developing economic and commercial relations between the two countries.

Patil pointed out that her country, as a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) with a membership of 118 countries, is still committed to NAM principles and goals, and that it will seek to boost the movement's role in dealing with contemporary challenges facing the developing countries.

She also said that India as a non-permanent member in the UN Security Council is committed to full and active participation in several issues proposed at the Security Council, and that it will support all moves that aim at finding comprehensive solutions based on the UN relevant resolutions.

On reforming the UN Security Council, the Indian President stressed that her country will continue working with Syria and other countries to achieve comprehensive reforms in the Security Council to ensure that the developing countries are represented in it and increase its effectiveness, legitimacy and credibility.

Patil affirmed that India has strong relations with the Arab countries, and that her country has a firm desire to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East, noting that investment in India and the Arab world is heading towards a quantum leap. (ANI)

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