Syria thanked India for the timely gift of medicines in July to help Syria it fight the COVID-19 pandemic

In an attempt to further strengthen the warm and friendly ties between India and Syria, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan held a virtual meeting with the Syrian Vice Minister of External Affairs and Expatriates Dr Fayssal Mekdal

They reviewed the bilateral relations and discussed cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

The MoS for External Affairs apprised Dr Mekdal about the steps taken to address both public health and socio-economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and gave him an update about India’s progress in COVID vaccine research and development.

According to an MEA statement Dr Mekdal thanked the Government of India for the timely gift of 10 MT of medicines in July 2020 to help Syria fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He also praised the generous provision of 1,000 scholarships to Syrians under the Study in India programme, besides 90 slots under ITEC and 25 slots under ICCR General Scholarship Scheme given annually.

Moreover, 483 Syrians had benefited from an artificial fitment camp organized by the Ministry of External Affairs in Damascus in January 2020. This was in partnership with Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti, Jaipur.

The Government of Indian also extended humanitarian assistance of US$12 million to the Government of Syria since the conflict broke out in 2011. In terms of infrastructure projects, India has set up a bio-tech park and an IT Center and extended US$265 million in line of credit for steel and power sector projects.

Reddy reiterated India’s hope to see a comprehensive and peaceful resolution of the decade-long Syrian conflict, through a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned dialogue. The statement said that it should involve all parties to the conflict that takes into account the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people, while preserving the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.