Syria Has Entered Reconstruction Phase: Envoy

NEW DELHI — Asserting that Syria has entered the phase of reconstruction and development following defeat of foreign backed terrorists Damas­cus envoy to India on Wednesday invited Indian companies, inves­tors and businesses to help rebuild his war-ravaged country.

“Syria was able to defeat terror­ists and all the conspiracies against the country. Now we are planning to rebuild Syria and we are looking for help from our friends especially In­dia, Dr Riad Kamel Abbas told a news conference here on Wednesday.

Urging Indian business organ­isations to trade with their Syrian counterparts, Abbas said: “We are thankful to the Indian government for its stand on Syria. Our country needs to stand again and we need India’s support for that”.

Syrian envoy revealed that Da­mascus was all set to host a mega trade fair and invited Indian com­panies to take part.

The trade fair being held in Damascus in September will see a participation of nearly 62 countries, he said, adding: “We are expecting many Indian business organisa­tions to take part and we are hope­ful that Indian pavilion will be big­gest in the exhibition. Now we are planning to rebuild our country and we are looking forward to part­nerships specially India”.

HOSTILE ARAB STATES NOT WELCOME

Abbas said that Syria, which has seen an economic loss of nearly USD 400 billion, was “ready to re-establish itself” without the support of any Arab country.

“We don’t have any connection with those countries who support terrorists. We do not even need the support of any Arab country,” he later told Trans Asia News.

Talking about escalated Israel’s attacks inside Syria, Abbas said that Israeli actions will be met with with retaliation. “Syrian govern­ment will not tolerate any more at­tacks from any side now. We have slowed down Israeli fighters by our own missiles and now Israel cannot fly over Syria”.

He said the Syrian government was not a “puppet” and will not lis­ten to the “dictations by anyone, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We have an independent for­eign policy. We don’t listen to (Don­ald) Trump, so how can we listen to Netanyahu. We will do whatever we would like to do on our land,” Abbas said about the media reports that suggested Israel was ready to end hostilities provided Damascus asks Iranian forces to leave Syria.

ARAB SPRING

The ambassador also asserted Syrian role as being a frontline Arab state and the “only secular Arab country”.

Claiming that the Arab Spring was an attempt to destabilise Syria, Abbas said, “This was done to safeguard the security of Israel, control natural re­sources in Syria, extend pipelines from Qatar to Syria to Europe.”

“We have a challenge now. We defeated the West backed terror­ism, but now we have to rebuild our country and will change Syria.

He invited Indian companies and investors to participate in the forthcoming 60th Damascus Inter­national Trade Fair.

Abbas hinted that the trade fair will be a major draw following Syr­ian victory and beginning of the reconstruction programme. “There will be chances of signing more agreements for ensuring stability in Syria. We will start giving incen­tives to Indian and international companies for participating in the fair. I invite all to come and cover the fair.”

The Syrian envoy also appre­ciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative of providing schol­arships to 1,000 Syrian students to study in India.

When asked if the government of President Bashar al Assad now intends to hold elections to give space to legitimate opposition par­ties in Syrian polity, Ambassador Abbas said, “under the leadership of our President (Bashar Al Assad), Syria will be changed.”

He however reiterated that President Assad will remain in power by the “will of Syrian peo­ple’. “Even America knows that Assad will win the election. Assad will win the election, if conducted, because the people of Syria know what he has done for the welfare of Syria,” he said.

Appealing the Syrian refugees around to globe to return to their homeland, envoy said, “We do not want our people to live in tents. They should come back and the government is ready to provide re­habilitation to all the displaced and affected families”.

Government troops are now mopping up the remaining rebel pockets in the south, and last week Assad promised a similar offen­sive against the rebels’ last major stronghold — Idlib province in the northwest.

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