DAMASCUS, NOV. 15. 2003, the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, has reaffirmed his country's appreciation of the "distinct Indian denunciation" of the Israeli aggression against Syrian territory, India's "objective stand" towards Iraq and its willingness to offer humanitarian help to the Iraqi people. 

Addressing a banquet he hosted in honour of the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, this evening, Dr. Assad, however, took a careful line on the problems in South Asia without referring to Pakistan by name. He said:

"We are hopeful that the friendly people of India will enjoy progress and prosperity in an atmosphere of peace and fraternity, and that the existing problems in your region will find proper solutions based on justice which ensures the rights of all sides. 

"In this regard, we value the peace initiatives already announced for the solution of these disputes and resumption of normal relations among the states of your region, which may lead to a state of stability and to a peaceful solution of the conflict." 

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"I have a great pleasure in welcoming on behalf of the Syrian Arab People, on behalf of my wife and on my own behalf, Your Majesties and the distinguished members of the accompanying delegation, wishing you a happy stay in Syria which is proud of this visit and is hopeful that this visit will consolidate the relations between our two countries and peoples." 

"We are glad that you are today our dear guests in Damascus, this ancient city which is one of the glorious Arab cities from which Arab glory emerged carrying its message to the farthest corners of the world in the shape of civilization, values, and human principles. In the heart of this glorious city and throughout its long history, the fine feeling of the importance of contacts with other peoples grew on the basis of taking and giving and of mutual respect and esteem. Syria, on the basis of that, always aspires to carry out its role with trust and confidence." 

 "Syria considers that it has much to give within the framework of a vision of far reaching civilization the living features of which are apparent in every part of its rich land. When I visited your beautiful country two years ago, I carried with me many thoughts and hopes to the good of our two countries, our region and the world at large. The idea which was the closest to myself among all other ideas which I carried with me in visits to various states or in my meetings with personalities or foreign delegations, is the idea of dialogue. In fact, it was always my belief that dialogue is a continuous constructive process; a process that if we sever at any stage, we will have then to restart it from the beginning."

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"Syria expresses high appreciation over Malaysia's stances which support the Arab nation's issues," "The relations' progress between the two countries in the latest years have proved that there are wide domains of cooperation in cultural exchange, the grants and student exchange in the fields of information technology and communications." 

Regarding Mideast Peace, H. E. Al-Assad reiterated the Syrian and Arab states' commitment to just and comprehensive peace based on the international resolutions and the "land for peace formula." " Arab peace initiative in Beirut summit reflected the Arab Nation's readiness to achieve peace but Israel reacted by increasing its aggression on the Palestinian people, rejection the international resolutions and continuing building the racial separation wall." 

Regarding the Iraqi question, President Al-Assad called for ending the American occupation to Iraq in order to attain security and stability expressing high appreciation over Malaysia and the Islamic countries' stances vis-à-vis Iraq. H. E. called the UN to create a suitable environment in order to establish a new global order which maintains the security and stability in the world.






President Bashar Al-Assad said that regardless of any academic or scientific definition of revolution, whether it is basic change or total transformation of history, revolution means a continuous state of development and progress for the better. H. E. underlined that the confidence of the people in the parliament's deputies is an embodiment of their aspiration. And such representation requires shouldering of responsibility with the aim of achieving the interests of the citizens. 

The president underlined that in his oath taking speech he talked about transparency which means clarity and honesty but some have understood it as wearing imported masks. He also indicated that democracy means accepting the opinions of others, while objectivity means seeing all sides of the issue, and freedom means commitment and national responsibility but some people have misunderstood these terms, adding that even tolerance was misunderstood for weakness. The president underlined that dialogue is the way to democracy and is the basis for finding remedy to all wrong doings and negative phenomena and practices that hinder development and prosperity. H. E. indicated that as regard the internal issues there is no other consideration other than the interests of the country, the society and those of the citizens. 

 President Al-Assad indicated that although many legislations have been passed by the previous legislative course, yet the efforts were not satisfactory for all and there is a long way to go in order to approach the aspired goals. He underlined that management is a major point of weakness which should be dealt with by the Assembly in cooperation with the executive authority, and this in turn necessitates the presence of those who understand the law and know how to supervise the execution of these laws. H. E. announced that the first symposium on management is scheduled to be held next April, because management is a large science which include qualification as a first step and this in turn leads to education which is the very core of building in any society and in any sphere. President Al-Assad pointed out that attention should be given to schools where the character takes shape and develops fundamental knowledge.

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