India assures to continue humanitarian assistance to Syria
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with Syrian Minister Fayssal Mekdad

New Delhi: India on Friday assured Syria which has been in the throes of a 11-year civil war of continued humanitarian support, particularly with regard to medicines and artificial limbs.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar gave the assurance to Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Fayssal Mekdad, during a meeting here on Friday evening.

Jaishankar said he assured Mekdad of continued humanitarian support from India, especially in regard to medicines and artificial limbs.

“India will also continue receiving Syrian students on scholarships,” the External Affairs Minister said on Twitter.

Jaishankar said he also had useful exchange of views with Mekdad on West Asia, Ukraine conflict, the Indo-Pacific and matters related to the United Nations.

The Syrian Minister’s visit to India comes ahead of the 19th round of Astana Peace Talks designed to find a political solution for the Syrian crisis next week.

Mekdad and Jaishankar reviewed the current state of bilateral relations and discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Discussion between the two sides touched upon extending humanitarian & developmental support to Syria, capacity building of Syrian youth and collaboration in sectors like fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, IT, a statement from the External Affairs Ministry said.

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

He is also scheduled to visit the Centre of Excellence of National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) in Gurugram.

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

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 organised 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, the External Affairs Ministry statement said.

About 1,500 scholarships have been provided to Syrian students to study in India in diverse streams, including 200 scholarships in the current academic year, it said.

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