Bilateral meeting took place during Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates’ five-day visit to India

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Friday held bilateral talks with visiting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Syria, Fayssal Mekdad and reviewed the current state of bilateral relations and discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest, said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement.

The two ministers, during their discussions, also touched upon issues related to humanitarian assistance, development support, capacity building of Syrian youth and collaboration in sectors like fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and IT.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Syria, Fayssal Mekdad is on an official visit to India from November 17-21, 2022. This is his first visit to India as Foreign Minister.

During the visit, Mekdad called on Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, interacted with the Indian business community at Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and addressed a gathering at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP IDSA).

On Saturday, he visited the Gurugram-based Centre of Excellence of NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Service Companies).

Over the years, India has been extending humanitarian, technical and developmental assistance to Syria through bilateral and multilateral channels, the MEA said.

Consignments of food and medicines have been supplied to Syria from time to time, including during the pandemic.

India has offered Lines of Credit worth USD 280 million to Syria for building a power plant and a steel plant in the country.

Two Artificial Limb Fitment Camps (Jaipur Foot) have been organized in Syria in December 2020 and recently in October-November 2022.

A Next-Gen Centre for Information Technology was set up in Damascus in October 2021. About 1500 scholarships have been provided to Syrian students to study in India in diverse streams, including 200 scholarships in the current academic year.

The visit of Fayssal Mekdad to India has provided further impetus to the bilateral relations between the two countries, the MEA maintained.