Syria seeks India’s support against ‘Western propaganda’

August 2nd, 2011 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) As more Syrian officials face the European Union sanctions amid intensifying violence in that country, Syria has urged India, chair of the UN Security Council, not to be influenced by Western “propaganda” about Damascus’ crackdown on protests, and sought New Delhi’s support for the reform process.

Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad met External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Minister of State for External Affairs E.Ahamed Monday and explained to them the evolving situation in his country that has been swept by pro-democracy protests since mid-March.

Mekdad briefed Krishna about “causes for violence in his country, reforms proposed by Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, details of national dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition groups, as well as other issues related to public protests in Syria,” the external affairs ministry said here.

In television interviews here, Mekdad sought India’s support and understanding as top officials of his country faced fresh travel curbs and freezing of assets by the EU for their role in alleged repression of protesters. India assumed the rotating presidentship of the UN Security Council Monday.

“I am here to brief the Indian leadership against the prefabricated misinformation and on the unrealistic propaganda machinery against Syria,” Mekdad told NewsX.

“Some circles in the West and in the United States want to aggravate the situation in Syria by supporting terrorist groups against the will of the overwhelming majority of the Syrian people,” he said.

“What we expect India to do is not to allow Western countries to use the UN as a forum to support terrorism, to support extremism and to support the killings of innocent people,” he said in an interview with CNN-IBN.

Around 1,500 people are said to have died since unrest began over four months ago.

India has voiced concern over the ongoing violence. Krishna conveyed to Mekdad that India expected the government of Syria to “exercise restraint, abjure violence and expedite the implementation of political reforms taking into account the aspirations of the people of Syria”.

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