India strengthens bilateral ties with Syria through 300 scholarships

In a significant move to enhance bilateral cooperation, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan, has announced provision of 300 new scholarships for Syrian students to study in India

| Updated: 14 July, 2023 1:01 am IST
MoS MEA V Muraleedharan with Syrian President Dr Bashar al-Assad

NEW DELHI: In a bid to enhance bilateral cooperation and strengthen ties between India and Syria, Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V Muraleedharan announced the provision of 300 new scholarships for Syrian students to study in India.

The announcement was made during his two-day visit to Syria, marking the first ministerial-level visit from India to the country since August 2016.

During his visit, Muraleedharan engaged in several high-level meetings with Syrian officials to discuss various aspects of bilateral cooperation.

He also met with President Dr Bashar al-Assad, where they exchanged views on strengthening mutual cooperation.

Muraleedharan conveyed warm greetings from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed his satisfaction in announcing the scholarships for Syrian students.

The MoS also held discussions with Bassam Ibrahim, the Minister of Higher Education in Damascus, and interacted with Syrian students who had been selected for Indian scholarships.

Impressed by the enthusiasm and keenness of the students to study in India, Muraleedharan emphasised the long-lasting and impactful connection being established through this educational initiative.

Muraleedharan had a productive meeting with Syrian Prime Minister Hussein Arnous, focusing on the development of partnership, trade, and capacity building between India and Syria. The discussions aimed to strengthen the existing bilateral ties and explore avenues for further collaboration.

As a gesture of respect, Muraleedharan paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi in Damascus, reaffirming the shared values and principles of non-violence and peace between the two nations.

The Indian Embassy in Syria has remained operational throughout the Syrian conflict, demonstrating the commitment of both countries to maintaining strong people-to-people ties.

Over the years, India has played a crucial role in the capacity building of Syrian youth through scholarship schemes and training courses under the flagship Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) program.

This visit by Muraleedharan is expected to provide significant momentum to the already robust relationship between India and Syria. It showcased India’s commitment to supporting Syrian students and fostering educational exchanges, which will contribute to the growth and development of both nations.

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