Al-Assad talks of peace, stability and hope

June 18th, 2008 - 8:05 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Wednesday shared his agony arising out of “consecutive wars” in the Arab world, and hoped for early peace and stability in the region. “Consecutive wars and ongoing conflicts, which continue to cause immense human suffering and violence, only strengthen our resolve to achieve peace and stability,” al-Assad told Indian and Syrian industry leaders here.

Al-Assad termed the gathering of business leaders from both countries “another testament to the flourishing relationship between the two countries and people”.

The meeting was jointly organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The president talked about Syria’s liberalisation and an economic growth of 6.6 percent in 2007, against less than 1 percent in 2000, said that “the positive change had not been easy”.

“However, all this positive change has not been easy. Our commitment to reform and economic liberalisation continues to be tested by the challenges facing our region and its dynamic environment.”

Given the volatile situation in the Arab world, al-Assad hoped that peace would prevail in the region for “sustainable development and long-term prosperity”.

“The indirect talks between Syria and Israel and the recent Doha Agreement, which has provided a tangible step towards national reconciliation in Lebanon, give us reason to be optimistic about the future of our region.

“Only peace and stability will ensure sustainable development and long-term prosperity for our region and the world,” al-Assad said in his around hour-long speech.

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