YEREVAN, June 17-18, 2009_ "My talks with President Sargsyan were rich with topics; where many of the issues in the Middle East, Central Asia Region, and the Caucasus were touched upon," said His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad in a joint Press Conference with His Armenian Counterpart, H. E. Serzh Sargsyan, following their talks here Wednesday, asserting that H. E. voiced to President Sargsyan Syria’s great satisfaction over the steps taken as far as the Turkish Armenian relations, reiterating the Syrian desire to push these relations forward in light of the strong relations binding Syrian and Turkey on the one hand, and Syrian and Armenia on the other. 

President Al-Assad asserted the need as to move quickly forward as far as the relations between Syria and Armenia. 

His Excellency President Al-Assad pointed out that he explained to President Sargsyan the Syrian vision for the Middle East Cause, especially the halted and paralyzed Mideast Peace Process, where there is no Israeli partner for peace and where such a partner in the near future could never been seen, asserting, however, that this does not mean to stop talking or working for the peace, and once the Israeli partner is to be ready, the plan for peace would be ready as to be immediately implemented cutting time short. 

H. E. added that the talks also touched upon the Palestinian situation, especially the human suffering of the Palestinian People in Gaza because of the lack of services leading to the death of the children and elderly continuously on a daily basis. 

President Al-Assad pointed out that the relations between Syria and Armenia can not be measured by the official side criterion; and have to be measured by their historic, popular, cultural and emotional aspects. "Both people had passed through difficult historic stages in past centuries, leading them to meet, a genuine meeting represented through the Syrians of Armenian origin living in Syria as Syrian Citizens with excellence since they came to Syria and got mingled to and integrated to her culture, habits, people without renouncing their mother culture, history, or causes, creating a unique special example for interblending among cultures in every place of the world, adding to the rich cultural diversity present in the Syria the more of richness." added H. E. President Al-Assad. 

President Al-Assad pointed out that H. E. listened to President Sargsyan vision as far as the thorny issue of Karaback, hoping that it would not be developed into a chronic problem, declaring the Syrian willingness as see how it would be possible to help in solving this problem, if there was to be a possibility to do so. H. E. President Al-Assad is due soon in Azerbaijan. 

His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad held another meeting with Armenian Prime Minister, H. E. Tigran Sargsyan. 

The talks dealt with the standing bilateral relations between Syria and Armenia, where assertion was made on the joint will of both sides to develop these relations as make them the main bridge linking the Middle East Region and the Caucasus. 

The standing economic relations between Syria and Armenia and the importance of reinforcing them through the increase of commerce exchange and investment were also discussed during the meeting. H. E. President Al-Assad underlined the need for good preparations for the forthcoming meeting of the joint Syrian Armenian Committee due by the end of this year. 

Later on, His Excellency President Al-Assad was received by the Speaker of the Armenian National Assembly, H. E. Hovik Abrahamyan. 

The talks dealt with the Syrian Armenian Parliamentarian relations and the importance of boosting them as to be an element of bilateral relation bolstering in line with the desire of both friendly countries and People. 

Assertion was laid on the importance of visits exchange for Parliamentarians from both countries as to exchange experience making use of each other’s experience. 

Mr. Abrahamyan voiced pleasure over the visit of H. E. President Al-Assad to the Armenian National Assembly, asserting that the constructive ideas presented by H. E. President Al-Assad form the basis for the development of the bilateral relations between Armenia and Syria at all levels, especially at the Parliamentarian level in the coming stage. 

During a dinner banquet given in honor of His Excellency President Al-Assad and Mrs. Al-Assad, His Excellency asserted in a word that the visit is but the first step towards the bolstering and deepening of the bilateral relations between both countries, in extension for their historic relations, which are not only restricted to the presence of the Syrians of Armenian origin. 

"Such a cultural integration without being melted is the answer for what is being circulated of ideas, ideologies and racial practices, which paved the way for the emergence of the beginnings of conflict among civilizations, cultures, religions and nations, leading to the destabilization of world peace and security in many world zones, especially in the regions of the Middle East, Caucasus, and Asia," underlined H. E. President Al-Assad. 

President Al-Assad asserted that such biased and irresponsible policies have led to wars and conflicts, pointing out to some people and countries’ experiences, with particular reference to the Arab People struggle against the Israeli occupation of the Arab Territories citing the Syrian People struggle against the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights. 

H. E. President Al-Assad reiterated Syria’s desire to work with active and concerned parties as to achieve the peace, security and stability in Mideast, and Central Asia Regions. 

President Al-Assad expressed conviction that the real will is based on the respect for self-determination right, international resolutions, and legality, as well as on common belief in the importance of dialogue would be suffice to form the basis for solving all world conflicts and crises. Thus, Syria, with this in mind, encourages the positive steps witnesses as far as the Turkish-Armenian relations, and that Syria is ready to exert whatever efforts in contribution to the improving of these relations. 

"The world has started to hear today of a new discourse calling for dialogue based on reciprocal respect, which raises hope. However, the hoped for is to match words with serious work as to achieve a just solution for the causes of the Middle East, Central Asia and Caucasus." outlined H. E. President Al-Assad. 

His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad and Her Excellency Mrs. Asma Al-Assad arrived earlier to Yerevan in a two-day official visit. His Excellency President Serzh Sargsyan and Her Excellency Mrs. Rita Sargsyan welcomed the Syrian Presidential Couple at the Airport.

 Foreign Minister, Mr. Walid Al-Moaa’lem, , Professoressa Buothaina Shaa’ban, the Advisor of President Al-Assad for Political and Media Affairs, Minister of Trade and Economy, Dr. Amer Hosni Lutiffi, Assistant Foreign Minister, Mr. Abdul Fatah Amoura, and the Syrian Embassy Charge’ d’affaires in Armenia, Mr. Abdul Hamid Saloum, accompany the Presidential Couple in their visit.

On June 18th, 2009, the second day of the visit, His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad and His Armenian Counterpart, H. E. Serzh Sargsyan, opened the Syrian Armenian Business Forum. 

"The strategic position of Syria and Armenia makes of them the obligatory passageways For oil and gas pipelines between Asia and Europe," said H. E. President Al-Assad in a speech at the opening of the Syrian Armenian Business Forum, pointing out that Syria seeks political solution in Caucasus, Central Asia, and Middle East, which would be in the interest of the huge and grand projects and investments in the coming years. 

H. E. President Al-Assad underlined the need for expanding all forms of investment and bilateral cooperation between Syria and Armenia, citing commercial investment, joint ventures, and land reclamations projects, asserting, further, the need for a direct airline linking Syria and Armenia in addition to the would be railway linking between both friendly countries. 

H. E. President Al-Assad called on the companies of both countries to participate in the execution of grand projects, pointing out that Syria is thinking now about a railway line linking the Red Sea through Aqaba in Jordan to the Mediterranean in Syria. 

Later on, His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad visited His Holiness Garaging II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. 

H. E. President Al-Assad briefed His Holiness on the conditions of the Syrians of Armenian origin in Syria, their contributions, as part and parcel of the Syrian Society texture and civilizational coexistence, to the enrichment of the Syrian Society heritage and culture. 

His Holiness Garaging II described the visit of His Excellency President Al-Assad as historic, decorating His Excellency with the Highest Order of the Armenian Church. 

Edited & Translated by

Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

Rome, Italy, June 17-18, 2009.

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