India and Syria discussed a range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest

India and Syria identified a number of crucial sectors for bilateral collaboration during a visit by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Secretary Ausaf Sayeed.

Secretary (Consular, Passport, Visa, and Overseas Indian Affairs) in the MEA, Sayeed visited the Syrian city of Damascus on Sunday.

According to the MEA, he called on Syria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Fayssal Mekdad and discussed a range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. "Both sides identified key areas of bilateral cooperation during the meeting, including renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, civil aviation, vocational training," the MEA said in a press release.

Secretary (CPV & OIA) Sayeed also met separately with Syrian Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Mohamed Seif El-Din.

As part of India’s developmental and humanitarian assistance to Syria, Secretary (CPV & OIA) inaugurated the Second Artificial Limb Fitment Camp (Jaipur Foot) in Damascus for the needy people of Syria on the occasion of 153rd Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the MEA release said.

He also announced 200 Scholarships for the Syrian Students under Phase III of Study in India programme in the current academic year. A total of 1,000 Syrian students have benefitted from the first two phases of the scholarship scheme.

Speaking about the significance of the visit, MEA stated it will give India's bilateral relations with Syria a "much-needed impetus."

Based on shared history and civilisation, India and Syria have cordial political ties. Both nations are members of the Non-Aligned Movement, have a secular, nationalist, and developmental orientation, and have similar perspectives on many global and regional problems.