"The relations between Syria and Romania are historic with more than 5 decades off history. These relations have ever been characterized with close and deep friendship, as well as with reciprocal respect. The visit of President Basescu to Syria today comes within the frame of renewal of the old relations pushing them forward, especially during the particular conditions in which the world in general and the Middle East in particular witness at the political and economic levels and their consequences. Such new conditions, which influence the entire world with no exception, deem necessary the more of consultations and the more of cooperation in different fields, especially as far as the political and economic ones." His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad said in a joint press conference with His Excellency Traian Basescu the visiting President of Romania.

"We have discussed bilateral relations between both countries- Syria and Romania- and what are the needed for agreements as to get signed so that the door would be opened before the more of cooperation between Syria and Romania. It was agreed that the Syrian-Romanian Joint Committee would as soon as possible meet for the discussion of the details of these agreements and consequent measures for this cooperation," added President Al-Assad.

"I have explained to President Basescu the whereabouts of the indirect peace negotiations between Syria and Israel with the mediation of Turkey, reiterating the Syrian well-known stance regarding the support of the peace process that would lead to the restoration of all of the occupied territories and to the implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions, and top of which resolution 242. This issue was fundamental in our discussions; hence the stability of the Middle East is basic to the stability of other parts of the world. Consequently, peace is an issue of priority for us; I think it to be also the same for many European countries." outlined H. E. President Bashar Al-Assad.

 "We have also talked of the new positive developments in Lebanon, in Iraq, as well as in the peace process, as I have said, and how to preserve the progress attained as for as those issues." President Al-Assad pointed out.

"We have also discussed the European role that has been taking a more active drive during the few past months; where I voiced our satisfaction in Syria regarding this role played by the European countries. We view this visit from a bilateral respective as well as from EU Perspective." noted H.E. Al-Assad.

In reply to a question, His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad reiterated that the prospects of the Syrian Romanian relations are very wide and without limits, whether as far as the bilateral side or the Syria-EU side, " President Basescu has clearly voiced his support for the signing of the Association Agreement between Syria and the European Union" pointing out to the pivotal independent role played by Romania as an EU member as well as to the presence of Romanian Community in Syria and a Syrian Community in Romania, not to mention the increasingly Syrian investments in Romania and vice versa.

His Excellency President Al-Assad has held earlier a closed-door meeting with the visiting President of Romania, His Excellency Traian Basescu, where viewpoints were exchanged regarding issues of joint interest as well as the development of conditions in the Middle East, especially in Iraq, the occupied territories, Lebanon, and the peace process. The talks also touched upon the Union for the Mediterranean Project and the steps taken as far as the Association Agreement between Syria and the EU, where President Basescu voiced the strong support of Romania for the signing of this Agreement as soon as possible. H. E. President Al-Assad underlined the role that could be played by the European Union, including Romania, in collaboration with the region countries as to find just solutions for Mideast crises, asserting that the realization of the just and comprehensive peace through the restoration of the occupies territories would stable security and stability for the region people, which would positively be reflected upon Europe as well as upon the entire globe. President Basescu highly appreciated the Syrian positive and pivotal role in solving the region problems, the Syrian permanent search for the realization of peace, as well as the Syrian exerted efforts in assistance for the Iraqi Refugees in Syria.

Edited & Translated by

Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

Rome- October 20- 2008

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