Syria’s foreign minister to visit India: Focus likely on Islamic State


Syria’s Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Walid Al-Muallem will be on a three-day official visit to India from January 11 during which he will meet top leaders in India. In the backdrop of the rise of terror group Islamic State in the region, the focus of the talks would mostly be on combating terrorism.

“He will meet External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj for bilateral talks of mutual interest. He will also meet the Indian leadership during his stay,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said at a media briefing on January 7.

Mr Muallem will be accompanied by four other delegation members which comprise the vice foreign minister, the advisor to the deputy prime minister, chief of cabinet of the deputy prime minister and another official from the minister’s office.

In view of fresh initiatives taken by the UN to bring peace in the war-torn country, the visit is significant. More than 300,000 people have been killed in the past four years and seven million have fled to other countries, according to various reports. The European countries have had to cope with a huge influx of Syrian refugees in 2015.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow in December 2015, he had held detailed talks with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on the Islamic State and the humanitarian crisis in Syria .





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