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Syrian envoy Riad Abbas praises Modi on his stand on terrorism

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Syrian envoy Riad Abbas. Photo Credit: www.rina.in

By NewsGram Staff-Writer

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was praised on Saturday by Syrian envoy Riad Abbas regarding his stand that terrorism is just terrorism and cannot be classified into good or bad.

Syrian envoy Riad Abbas. Photo Credit: www.facenfacts.com
Syrian envoy Riad Abbas. Photo Credit: www.facenfacts.com

The Islamic State terror group’s growing footprint in Syria has killed thousands of people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

“We highly appreciate Mr. Modi when he talks about terrorism and says that there is no good terrorism and bad terrorism, it is only terrorism,” Abbas said in a talk at the Indian Women’s Press Corps here.

Abbas also voiced appreciation of India’s position of non-interference in the internal affairs of another country, and said his government would like friendly countries like India to help his country with medicine and food.

“We want friendly countries to help with medicine, food. We will be appreciative of any kind of humanitarian help,” said the envoy.

He said India to him was like a second home and Syrians loved India.

Abbas said Russia was helping his country with arms and military equipment to fight the IS but not providing soldiers.

The envoy blamed Turkey for the four-year-old unrest in his country and said Syria’s problems would be solved “once the terrorism stops”.

He said Turkey should close the 950 km of open border to stop terrorists from entering his country.

“We want a political solution and don’t want any terrorism. Stop the destruction and let us decide (our political future),” he said.

The envoy also blamed the Wahabbism form of orthodox Islam practiced in some Gulf countries for the extremist violence in his country.

He slammed the US for the troubles in the Middle East, and said the BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — could contribute effectively towards peace in the region and in his country.

Abbas also claimed that the thousands of refugees streaming into Europe were not from his country.

He said 40 percent of the refugees comprised Islamic State mercenaries who were entering the European nations in order to create havoc.

“Stop terrorism and the problem (of refugees) will stop,” he said, and slammed the UN for being a “silent follower” of the US policy.

Voicing sadness over the destruction in Syria, Abbas said: “We are not ready to surrender our country to the new colonialism (by the US). We will not surrender our country to any foreigner,” he said.

“I feel very sad to talk about my country. The cross-border terrorism has destroyed our civilization, led to the spilling of Syrian blood on the streets. It is very sad to see those militants shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ and destroy our historical places in Palmyra and other places. We need friendly countries to wake up and see what is happening in Syria and take a stand against terrorism,” said Abbas.

(With inputs from IANS)

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India Assists Syria By Rebuilding Brain Power

India silently extends support to Syria by rebuilding brain power

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India helps Syria
India is helping Syria by providing them medicinal and educational support. Wikimedia Commons

BY RANJANA NARAYAN

In the midst of the global focus on Syria with Turkeys latest offensive putting a big question mark on when the war will end, India has been quietly doing its bit to help the Syrian people cope, and also laying the foundation for its bright future.

It’s not just with medicines and food supplies that India has been helping the war-wracked country, but now with education too.

India is providing scholarships to 1,000 Syrian students to study in Indian universities, in undergraduate, post-graduate courses and even PhD.

Behind the move to provide scholarships to students from Syria is a hope that it would in the near future replicate the success stories from the African continent — where several current or former Presidents, Prime Ministers and Vice Presidents have attended educational or training institutions in India.

Syrian Ambassador to India Riad Abbas thinks so too, and is happy at the move by India.

“India supports Syria in many ways. They support Syrian people with medicine, with food, and this initiative has come from Modiji (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) for our students,” Abbas told IANS in an interview.

“Around 1,000 students have come to India to study in different universities and different courses – from Bachelors to Masters to PhD”

“Through this means India is assisting Syria by rebuilding the brain” – here he taps his head with a meaningful smile, “the brain of our people to plant education, science, and peace”.

According to Abbas, it is “the best thing to rebuild humanity and the people”.

Could these students one day become leaders in Syria too?

“Definitely they could become… They will come back to our homeland to rebuild Syria. And maybe they will be in the government in future. They will be like ambassadors of India to Syria and Arab countries,” he said.

Abbas said that all the Syrian students currently studying in India as part of the initiative “are satisfied by the nature of Indian people and the hospitality. They are happy in their universities, and are fully supported by the universities”.

India-Syria
India is providing scholarships to 1,000 Syrian students to study in Indian universities. Wikimedia Commons

The students are in 11 government and private universities across the country.

Abbas hopes the initiative will become a yearly feature. “I hope we make it every year, if it is possible.

“Because we look forward to enhancing our relationship with India, and we want all our students to get their certificates from India, because Indian education is of a higher level, compared to other countries — similar to the UK and US,” he added.

Another important factor is the students “feel at home” in India due to the cultural affinities.

“There are similar traditions between the two countries and because of this they feel at home.

“Most of our students will come back to our homeland to help their families, their people and to rebuild Syria,” he said.

Though the Western world sees Syria as badly battered and bruised, India sees Damascus as a strong country with a powerful military that has been able to determinedly push back the Islamic State militia, which a few years ago had threatened to overrun the country.

While a few years ago the West was loudly calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, today those voices have accepted his rule.

The Syrian envoy agrees. “Since a long time we have been fighting terrorism on behalf of the world. All terror groups came to Syria by Turkey’s support, they (Ankara) opened the border and facilitated their smuggling into Syria to kill our people and destroy our country.

“But now the last bit is left. We will defeat the terror groups on the ground, which get support from America. It is America which leads the army of mercenaries to fight against our army, and our army has defeated them. So now we are faced with the American army on the ground of Syria. This means that America’s project in the Middle East has failed, because of Syria,” the envoy told IANS.

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Syria has cordial relations with India, since the independence of both countries. Both have similar views in many cases in the international arena. Pixabay

“They (the West and the US in particular) declared in the past, ‘We will change the government of Syria, we will change the president, we will do like this and that’… It was only talking for talking’s sake. Only they destroyed the country, but they couldn’t achieve their aims to change the Syrian government, and Syrian policy.

“And we are proud of our relation with BRICS countries, and especially with India. We highly appreciate India’s position and the Indian people, and we pray for God to save this country and its people.”

On Syria-India relations, he said: “We have cordial relations with India, since the independence of both countries. Both have similar views in many cases in the international arena.”

He praised India’s stand on the Syrian issue – on support for a political solution in Syria put forward by the people themselves, help realise the aspirations of the Syrian people and stand against any external intervention in Syria.

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“Because India has a strong voice in the international arena and many countries follow India’s position. And if all countries are like India, there would be no problem,” he added. (IANS)