Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister calls on President

KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari Monday reiterated that Pakistan supports all efforts to facilitate a peaceful Syrian-led and inclusive solution meeting the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people through a comprehensive political dialogue involving the entire spectrum of the Syrian polity, including the government and the opposition groups.

The President said this while speaking to Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, who called on him at the Bilawal House today. The meeting was attended among others by Ghassan Dallah, Director, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister, Dr. Ali Muhra, Syrian Chargé d’affaires in Islamabad, Senator Farhatullah Babar, Spokesperson to the President and Mr. Jalil
Abbas Jilani, Foreign Secretary.

The President said that Pakistan firmly believe that Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty must be respected and that any outside interference would only complicate a complex situation and will have serious consequences for the neighbouring countries. The drive for peace in Syria must be led and owned by the Syrian People; he said and offered Pakistan’s readiness to play its role in finding a peaceful solution of the Syrian crisis.

Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the President while expressing concerns at the fast deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Syria appreciated the efforts being made by Lakhdar Brahimi, joint representative of UN and League of Arab States UNLAS and expressed hope that he will be able to convince the protagonists to resolve their differences through negotiations.

Highlighting Pakistan’s stance on Syrian issue, the President said that Pakistan’s position on the situation in Syria in the UN is based on the principle of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of Syria and that we do not support regime change in any country by external forces.

Touching on Pakistan’s efforts on the sidelines of the D8 Summit on the Syrian issue, the President said that would continue supporting and facilitate any initiative and effort aimed at bringing peace and stability to in Syria in accordance with aspirations of the people of Syria and without any foreign interference.

On Pak Syria bilateral ties, the President said that Pakistan enjoys friendly and fraternal relations with Syria that are deep rooted in bonds of faith, history and culture. He urged the need for the two countries to intensify efforts to expand cooperation in economic and commercial fields to further strengthen ties between the two countries.

Dr. Faysal Mekdad, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister said that Syria values its friendly relations with Pakistan and was keen to further strengthen its bilateral ties in various fields. He thanked the President for meeting and appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for peaceful resolution of the Syrian issue. The Deputy foreign minister also delivered a letter from Syrian President Bashar alAssad to President Asif Ali Zardari.

The President also hosted lunch for the Deputy Foreign Minister and his delegation.