"Visiting Slovakia is an opportunity to follow up talks with President Gasparovic, especially in light of the grand changes of international circumstances. The talks dealt with bilateral relations, especially as far as the economic field, and with the situation in the Middle East," said His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad in a joint press conference with His Slovak Counterpart, Ivan Gasparovic, following their talks in Bratislava, April 29, 2009. 

"The role of Europe has two aspects; the first is related to dialogue with Arab States as far as peace process, especially with the States concerned directly with the Process of Peace, and Syria is one of these States. The Second aspect is related to dialogue between the United States and Europe regarding peace process, that the United States is the sponsor of this process," added His Excellency asserting that "the process of peace could never remain within the frame of general titles and slogans". 

"The Slovak experience could be made use of especially as far as the Slovak Economy turn from dependence on agriculture to economy resources variety. Syria is an agricultural country with a status similar to Slovakia; thus the Slovak agricultural experience could be made use of," said His Excellency President Al-Assad.

“Our meeting today stems from the firm conviction and belief in the importance of dialogue and opening between Syria and all EU States in the interest of all parties,” added His Excellency President Al-Assad, lauding the Slovak objective stances, especially as far as the principle of the land for peace and support for International Legitimacy resolutions. 

His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad and H. E. Mrs. Al-Assad arrived earlier today in Bratislava, Slovakia for a two-day visit.

 

His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad held talks with His Slovak Counterpart, H. E. Ivan Gasparovic. The talks focused at ways of bolstering the standing bilateral relations, especially at the economic level. The talks also touched upon conditions in Iraq and the necessity to overcome the negative impacts of the war against Iraq and against the entire region. The talks, further, dealt with Mideast developments; H. E. President Al-Assad underlined the importance of the realization of the just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East and the US-European-Arab dialogue for formulating a useful plan for the realization of peace. H. E. President Al-Assad pointed out to the role of Europe in the Middle East region, taken its close awareness of the region not to mention its geographic closeness.

 

His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad has also held talks with Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. The talks dealt with bilateral relations and prospects of their fostering expanding economic and trade cooperation between both friendly States. The talks further touched upon cooperation among Arab States and European Union, its necessity, energy, and the future to be formulated in the aftermath of the international Financial crisis, which has proved the failure of the economic and financial system created following the Second World War. H. E President Al-Assad underlined the necessity for a united active European vision regarding international issues calling on advanced countries to assist the developing ones as to overcome the present international financial crisis, citing the present calls for a reconsideration of governments’ role in international markets operation.

 Later on, His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad held talks with Slovakia's Parliamentary Chairman Pavol Paška. The talks dealt with the deep rooted relations between Syria and former Czechoslovakia, of which Slovakia was a member and that the time is ripe for reviving these relations following a phase of changes. H. E. President Al-Assad underlined the European role in comprehending the problems of the Middle East helping the United States to take correct decisions to this effect, considering the fact that Europe is close to the Arab World historically and comprehends this World well. The parliamentarian relations are basically to improve political relations fostering understanding among people in all fields.

 

“The developing countries would play a bigger role, and would have saying and bigger influence in light of the current Financial Crisis, of which end nothing is known,” said H. E. President Al-Assad in a speech at the opening of the Syrian-Slovak Economic Forum, asserting the need for the bolstering of cooperation and trade exchange among all countries.

 “The economic crisis of today might be converted to an opportunity if to be invested,” His Excellency added, pointing out that the opportunity is linked to the timing, highlighting the international political opening toward the Middle East.

 “The common denominator between Syria and Slovakia is the credibility of their economy and its stability,” said President Al-Assad, asserting , for example, the booming Tourism Sector in Syria with the increase of European tourists numbers, not mention that Syria is among the few countries affected by the financial crisis, and so is Slovakia in its region.

His Excellency President Al-Assad pointed out that the Geographic location  of Syria, her cultural heritage, and the ongoing witnessed reforms, and her business community, enable Syria to attract huge investment in different vital sectors, like oil and gas transport, Tigris and Euphrates water streaming projects, land reclamation, grand industrial and tourism projects, in addition to cooperation between small and medium companies, asserting that the signed double-taxation evasion, and investment promotion and protection agreements between Syria and Slovakia create the necessary legal frame for initiating joint venture projects.

 H. E. President Al-Assad reiterated the importance of Mideast peace realization in contribution to economic prosperity and that the peace would support economy and vice versa.

 

Edited & Translated by

Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

Rome, Italy, April 29, 2009.