Syria backs India for full OIC membership

By Naz Asghar

March 28, 2019

New Delhi: Syria is strongly in support of India becoming full member of the Organisation of Islamic Countries(OIC), the Arab nation’s ambassador Riad Abbas said here expressing deep appreciation of New Delhi’s stand during the Syrian crisis.

The envoy also spoke of security cooperation between the two countries and said that any Indian ISIS member, if captured in his country, would be handed over to India.

India has second largest population of Muslims, so it has the legitimacy to become full member of the OIC, Mr Abbas said replying to a question at a press conference here on Thursday.

He also said that his country would be very happy to see India playing a role in the Middle-East peace process.

India was invited at IOC foreign ministers meet held at Abu Dhabi early this month, which was strongly objected to by Pakistan and it tried its best to scuttle the move but some countries, especially host UAE, took a firm stand and invited External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as the guest of honour for the inaugural session of the meet. She became the first Indian representative to address the OIC meet.

The Syrian ambassador underlined that his country had always taken a stand in favour of India within the IOC in the past too.

At present Syria’s membership of the OIC is suspended. However, Mr Abbas said negotiations for the country’s reentry were on.

He also assured of his country’s full cooperation in handing over any Indian caught working for ISIS in Syria, adding that India and Syria have very strong security cooperation in matters like intelligence sharing etc.

The envoy said Syria greatly appreciates the fact that India had shown firm commitment to UN charter and UNSC resolutions as regards the crisis relating to his country and the middle-east.

Replying to a question on the reconstruction process in his country, he said the yrian Government has visualised a major role for India in this process, pointing out that President Asad had already invited Indian companies to invest in the natural resources of the country to the benefit of both the parties.

He rejected the offers for reconstruction made at ”so-called donors conference” which, he said came with so many stifling conditions.

”All these donors conference are just an eye wash. If we had accepted their conditions, we would not be fighting the proxy war,” he said, adding that ”we are happy with the cooperation of the friendly countries.”

Mr Abbas said that it was because of the rich natural resources of Syria, which has recently discovered large reserves of oil and gas, that countries like the US had created terror groups like Daish as an alibi to gain control of the country.

He also described the ”so-called Arab spring” as a design to destabilise the region. ”It was not spring but Arab fire,” he quipped.

Answering a question, he said President Asad wanted political reforms and would like to have fair elections, but that
should happen when the country was fully cleaned of the terror groups. The Syrian forces had liberated 92 percent of the country with the help of allies, he said.

Rejecting Us President Donald Trump’s declaration of Golan Heights as Israeli territory, the syrian envoy said that his country would go to the International Court of Justice against this.

”However, this declaration does not change anything on the ground. How can you give someone a things which does not belong to you?” he said.

All this had been done for the personal benefit of both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was facing elections and Mr Trump, who was facing Mueller probe, he added.

It is a ”dirty deal” between the two leaders, the Syrian envoy said

Mr Abbas sought to remind that Israel itself had committed to give back the occupied Golan Heights to Syria and the commitment was made by their former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin to the Knesset.
—India News Stream

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