Syria-India relations: Shared history and the way forward

Updated on Nov 22, 2022 10:24 AM IST

The article has been authored by Faysal Mekdad, minister of foreign affairs and expatriates, Syria.

Syria strongly supports India in various international organisations, and looks forward to a more active Indian role at the international level, to defend the principles of justice and law, and prevent the attempts of hegemony that some States are exercising in many regions around the world. In this regard, we greatly value the positive and active role of Indian foreign policy through its membership in the United Nations Security Council.
Syria strongly supports India in various international organisations, and looks forward to a more active Indian role at the international level, to defend the principles of justice and law, and prevent the attempts of hegemony that some States are exercising in many regions around the world. In this regard, we greatly value the positive and active role of Indian foreign policy through its membership in the United Nations Security Council.
ByHindustan Times

It was thousands of years ago that convoys carrying tangible and intangible goods traversed on land from ancient Syria to India and vice versa--one of the oldest civilisational and cultural exchanges in history between the two regions. The sharing of ideas, traditions and views was reflected in the cordial ties between the two countries and deeply rooted in the conscience of both peoples.

Today, both countries are secular, development oriented and moving to a common future based on respect for international law, commitment to the UN charter, promoting international cooperation, and support for a just world order where all states enjoy their sovereignty and independence. Since the visit of the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, Bashar Al-Assad, to India in 2008, new horizons of mutual cooperation have been explored, and various ties on multiple political, economic and cultural levels have been strengthened. This fact was strongly emphasised in India’s support for Syria during the war launched against it, and by India’s stance of respecting Syria’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the rejection of foreign interference in the internal affairs of other States. Both countries struggled against foreign occupation and being members of the Non-Alignment Movement came together to preserve the rights and interests of developing countries. The mutual cooperation is still going on in all relevant forums, to an end that serves the aspirations of our peoples.

Syria strongly supports India in various international organisations, and looks forward to a more active Indian role at the international level, to defend the principles of justice and law, and prevent the attempts of hegemony that some States are exercising in many regions around the world. In this regard, we greatly value the positive and active role of Indian foreign policy through its membership in the United Nations Security Council. At the economic level, many projects were established in Syria under the sponsorship of the Indian government; relevant trade and investment agreements have been signed to further cooperation. There is no doubt that the trade and economic exchanges were affected by foreign sponsored terrorism in Syria and the imposition of unilateral sanctions against its people. However, the strong ties between Syria and India have stood the test of time, and will prove again that the will of people can break all the boundaries. In recent years, Syria has adopted the “Eastward Orientation Policy” in which priority will be given to its friendly countries in Asia, considering India a priority, in all matters of trade, investment, and economy.

As the process of rebuilding Syria has started, the participation of Indian firms and businesses is most welcome and will be facilitated. Some weeks ago, the second camp for installing limb prostheses was inaugurated in Damascus, an Indian initiative to help victims of war to return to their normal lives. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “We must not lose faith in humanity”. The Syrian-Indian relations showcases the depths of human compassion and empathy when this world has been witnessing escalating selfishness and the supremacy of interests over values. In this context, it is not strange for a country with such a history to extend its support to the Syrian people during their difficult times. Ranging from various capacity-building programmes to providing medical and humanitarian aid, Syria appreciates India’s efforts.

As in other parts of the world, International Yoga Day was celebrated recently in Damascus and other parts of Syria. As this ancient Indian tradition aims at bringing its practitioners the highest possible state of peace and tranquility, may our joint efforts and mutual aspirations bring peace, prosperity, and further development to our nations and to the whole world.

The article has been authored by Faysal Mekdad, minister of foreign affairs and expatriates, Syria.

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