Syria's Assad says India has role in fighting terror

22 August 2016

Strife-torn Syria has suggested a bigger role for India in meeting the challenges of terrorism even as the two countries discussed terrorism, faith equality and the need to upgrade bilateral security consultations.

In talks with visiting Indian minister of state for foreign affairs M J Akbar in Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad suggested that New Delhi has a role to play in meeting the challenge of terrorism. He also invited India to play an active role in the reconstruction of the Syrian economy.

Akbar is on a week-long visit to West Asia from 17 August. His visit will boost Syrian President Assad's efforts to highlight continued critical support for his government.

Sources said New Delhi and Damascus have reasserted their rejection of ''foreign interference in the internal affairs of states''.

''There was an agreement between both the sides for further upgrading security consultations,'' government sources said.

During the meeting, the Syrian President also welcomed India's objective position on the conflict in Syria and both leaders acknowledged that terrorism was a global problem.

''As a growing power, India has a role to play in meeting the challenge of terrorism,'' sources quoted Assad as saying.

Akbar, during the meeting, said the age of destruction should give way to the age of reconstruction in Syria soon. The five-year-old Syrian civil war has resulted in unparalleled destruction in the West Asian Country where a rebel alliance is fighting against Assad's forces.

President Assad's forces are trying to recapture Aleppo and the fierce clashes were seen last week between regime and rebels backed by Fateh al-Sham around Om al-Qaraa and it was finally reclaimed by the government forces.

Several cities and heritage sites like Palmyra, Apamea, Bosra, Khan Sheikhoun, Kafr Nubbel have been damaged in the conflict. Cultural heritage site 'Temple of Baalshamin' was blown up in August 2015 while 'Tower of Elahbel' and several other ancient tombs were destroyed between June and September 2015.

 search domain-b