Jul 14, 2020, 10:30 PM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 83855788
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Pakistani President stresses importance of stronger ties with Syria

Islamabad, July 14, IRNA -- The President of Pakistan stressed importance of ties with Syria, and called for further expansion of cooperation between Islamabad and Damascus in trade, economic and social sectors.

According to state media, Dr. Arif Alvi during a meeting with Ambassador-designate to Syria Air Marshal retired Saeed Muhammad Khan at the Presidency said Pakistan attaches utmost importance to its ties with Syria.

He described Islamabad-Damascus relations as fraternal and close, and called on the Pakistani ambassador to focus on expanding bilateral cooperation, especially in the trade, economic and social sectors.

The president felicitated the ambassador-designate on his appointment as Pakistan’s ambassador to Syria and expressed the hope that he would make concerted efforts to further improve bilateral relations.

He also emphasized upon the need for increasing bilateral engagements at the senior level and asked the ambassador-designate to play his role in this regard.

Saeed Mohammad Khan is a retired three star officer of Pakistan Air Force. Prior to his retirement he was serving as Vice Chief of Pakistan Air Force.

Pakistan's new ambassador is scheduled to leave for Syria soon. He would replace Rashid Kamal, country's former ambassador to Syria, who had served in Syria for three years.

Islamabad is a strong supporter of resolving the Syrian crisis through dialogue and diplomacy. Despite pressure from some Western powers, especially Arab countries in the Middle East, Pakistan has refused to change its main position of not interfering in Syria's internal affairs and opposing any plan against the legitimate government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Significant changes in Pakistan's position on Syria took place in late 2015. After the crisis in Syria, the country took a neutral stance towards the Arab country, but for the past few years, after the appointment of Sayed Athar Hussain Bukhari as ambassador to Damascus, Islamabad took a different position and supported Bashar al-Assad's government.

In recent years, the Pakistani government has opposed any attempt by regional and other powers to change government in Syria.

Although Saudi Arabia has sought Pakistan’s involvement in regional conflicts by forming a self-proclaimed military coalition, Islamabad has always insisted on maintaining peace and stability in the region.

Syrian President Hafez al-Assad traveled to Pakistan in 1970 to attend a summit of Islamic leaders. In mid-August 2010, a high-level political and economic delegation headed by then-Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari traveled to Damascus and met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to discuss ways to expand relations.

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