Shri V. Muraleedharan on an official visit to Syria

July 15: Shri V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs paid an official visit to the Syrian Arab Republic from 12-13 July 2023, the first Ministerial-level visit from India to Syria since August 2016.​

During the visit, MoS called on H.E. Dr Bashar Al Assad, President and H.E. Eng. Hussein Arnous, Prime Minister of Syria and discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral ties, including development partnership assistance, education and capacity building. The Syrian leadership widely appreciated India’s humanitarian support to Syria in the hour of need, particularly in the aftermath of the devastating Earthquake in February 2023. MoS announced 300 new scholarships to Syrian students for studying in India. He also conveyed that a consignment of anti-cancer medicines will be supplied to Syria at an early date.

MoS had a meeting with H.E. Mr. Fayssal Mekdad, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Expatriates of Syria on wide-ranging matters of bilateral and multilateral matters. He also had a meeting with H.E. Dr Hassan Al Ghabbash, Minister of Health of Syria, where ways to strengthen health cooperation were discussed. ​

MoS called on His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Syriac Patriarch of Antioch and all the East and discussed the robust people-to-people ties between the two countries, especially between the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and Kerala.

MoS along with H.E. Dr. Bassam Ibrahim, Minister of Higher Education of Syria interacted with a group of Syrian students who have studied or are proceeding to study in India under the Government of India’s scholarship scheme. MoS also visited NextGen India Syria Center of Excellence in Information Technology (NexGen ISCE IT) in Damascus set up by India in 2021. Minister of Communications and Technology of Syria H.E Eng Iyad Mohammad Al-Khatib joined MoS at the Centre.

The visit of MoS to Syria has been highly productive and provided an opportunity to find new ways and means to take bilateral cooperation to a higher level.

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