Paris, (SANA)- A Syrian-French summit meeting between President Bashar Al-Assad and French President Nicolas Sarkozy convened on Thursday at the Elysee Palace in Paris, during which a dinner banquet was held.

Both sides reviewed the development in the Syrian-French relations and the steps taken to enhance the bilateral cooperation in all fields matching with the deep historical ties between the two friendly countries and peoples.

Presidents Al-Assad and Sarkozy stressed the importance of building on the bridges of mutual confidence between the two countries to continue upgrading their relations and expanding their prospects, in a way that serves the common interests of Syria and France and their efforts in achieving stability and prosperity in the Middle East, which would positively reflect on Europe and the world.

The latest regional and international developments were reviewed during the meeting, with both sides stressing their keenness on continuing consultation on various issues of common interest.

The meeting was attended by Secretary General of the French Presidency Claude Gueant and Syrian Presidential Political and Media Advisor Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban.

In a statement following his talks with President Sarkozy, President Al-Assad said answering a question on Lebanon "There is French-Saudi coordination going on for months…and there is also French-Syrian coordination…There is no initiative as being reported…and in the final analysis, the solution is a Lebanese one, not Syrian, nor French or Saudi."

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Presidents Al-Assad/ Yankovych Press Conference 


Kiev, (SANA)-President Bashar Al-Assad held talks on Friday with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych at the Presidential Palace in Kiev in two sessions, one bilateral and another plenary.

President Al-Assad stressed the importance of renewing traditional relations between the two countries, referring to the new generations bearing the two cultures and entering the job market in both countries.

The President said that Ukraine's important position encourages us for long-term strategic cooperation that starts with political cooperation, consultation and coordination, and ends in the Free Trade Zone between the two countries.

For his part, President Yanukovych underlined the long-standing cooperation and the importance of taking appropriate measures to make success of the political dialogue and giving great attention to parliamentary relations between the two countries.

He described Syria as an influential country, not only in the Middle East, but also in the Arab and Islamic worlds.

The session of talks was followed by a press conference in which the two Presidents summed up their talks.

President Al-Assad expressed happiness at visiting Ukraine to restore warmth to the centuries-long bilateral relations.

''These relations are based on thousands of graduates, students and workers from Syria who are currently in Ukraine….In addition to thousands of Syrian-Ukrainian families in the two countries,'' President Al-Assad added.

President Al-Assad went on to say ''We have a young generation bearing the two cultures working in Syria and Ukraine in various important positions. Added to that is the natural bridge between us, which is the standing economic relations which kept progressing despite the slow down over the past few years. Today we want to make up for what we missed during these years'' .

President Al-Assad described the talks as very successful and rich in topics, attributing this to President Yanukovych policy vis-à-vis the Black Sea region and the international relations as a whole, adding that Ukraine is enjoying political stability and plays a far balanced political and regional role.

''The topics we raised with President Yanukovych today, whether in terms of bilateral or international relations and the situations in the two regions, were constructive and integrated to a large extent. The most important topic is signing the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries which we foresee to be completed before the end of February at a date to be set later by the Syrian-Ukrainian Committee in this regard.''

"This agreement will open the doors widely before the Syrian-Ukrainian relationship and at the same time will enhance relationship between the two regions. This is why we focused today in the first place on the transport issue, particularly sea and air transport, as it is the basis for developing the relationship," said President Al-Assad.

He added that two agreements on maritime transport were signed, urging more work to increase the number of flights between Damascus and Kiev.

"This relationship and those agreements open wide doors for cooperation and open a door for Syria toward the Baltics in the north and for Ukraine toward the Red Sea and the Gulf in the south," the President said.

President Al-Assad went on to say that in addition to the Free Trade Agreement, a number of agreements not yet completed will open the doors for cooperation in economy, culture, scientific research and joint industry.

He expressed hope these agreements will be completed as soon as possible to be integrated with the free trade agreement.

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 Damascus, (SANA)- President Bashar Al-Assad on Saturday stressed that the visit of President Pratibha Devisingh Patil of India will boost the historical relations between Syria and India established over thousands of years starting with the Silk Road, and translated over the past decades into official and popular relations in all fields.

President Al-Assad's remarks came at the end of a round of extensive talks he held with President Devisingh Patil, attended by the members of the two official delegations.

In their press statements, the two presidents summed up their talks, stressing the importance of increasing trade transactions and developing economic relations to the level of the political relations.

Presidents Al-Assad and Devisingh Patil expressed their support to reform the United Nations to become more democratic, representative and efficient, with the Indian President renewing her country's strong support to Syria's legitimate right to full restoration of the occupied Golan as soon as possible.

President Al-Assad said that his talks with President Devisingh Patil dealt with issues already raised during his visit to India in 2008.

He added that focus was placed on means of upgrading the economic relations to the level of the historical and political relations, given that the volume of trade exchange, although progressing, is still modest in light of the potentials of both countries and their positions in terms of the geographical location and the regional alliances they are connected by, which provide broad and promising markets for the trade flow.

"Syria is witnessing a dynamic economic movement to build bridges of cooperation with the friendly countries in the world," said President Al-Assad, pointing out that Syria is bound through free trade agreements with a number of Arab countries in the framework of the Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement, and also with a number of the region's countries.

The President added that Syria is working on a link process connecting it with geographically near and far countries through infrastructure networks in the fields of energy, oil and gas with the aim of creating an economic sphere for all these countries to expand the base of their common interests.

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Bucharest, (SANA)- President Bashar Al-Assad on Wednesday held talks with President Traian Basescu of Romania at the Presidential Palace in Bucharest.

In press statements following the talks, President Al-Assad said he is happy to be in Romania, adding that the visit of the Romanian President to Syria two years ago was important as it improved bilateral relations after a long pause.

''The trade exchange between the two countries is still weak...We seek today to give a strong push to the economic relations,'' President Al-Assad added.

''The talks dealt with political issues, mainly cooperation with the EU and peace in the Middle East. We affirmed to President Basescu that Romania is an important country which can play an important role in pushing the peace process, especially in light of the latest US moves,'' President Al-Assad said.

President Al-Assad went on to say, ''We stressed Syria's traditional stance seeking to achieve peace in the Middle East.''

''There will be a meeting today for Syrian and Romanian businessmen, especially after establishing a joint businessmen council,'' President Al-Assad said, wishing the council success in promoting bilateral relations.

For his part, President Basescu said, ''We held a first round of talks with President Al-Assad on the bilateral relations, the situation in the Middle East and the future prospects of bilateral cooperation. We discussed the prospects of the Syrian-EU relations in general.''

Earlier, President Al-Assad and Mrs. Asma Al-Assad started an official visit to Romania.







SOFIA, SANA_ President Bashar Al-Assad on Tuesday held talks with Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov at the Presidential Palace in Sofia. 

Presidents Al-Assad and Parvanov asserted the importance of re-launching the Syrian-Bulgarian relations with a future vision, laying down a strong base as to open prospects before economic and trade cooperation between both countries. 

Both Presidents also underscored the importance of linking the Arab region and the Balkans through networks of infrastructure for energy supply, railways, land and sea transport. 

President Al-Assad said that the talks with President Parvanov focused on setting a strong and solid strategy for bilateral relations to increase the trade volume between the two countries. 

In a joint press conference with the Bulgarian President following their talks, President Al-Assad said that talks also focused on ways to connect Bulgaria's important location on the Black Sea with Syria's important location on the Mediterranean and linking the two regions. 

President Al-Assad pointed out that the development of the Syrian-Turkish relation is moving towards establishing strategic projects, adding "Since Bulgaria is a neighbor of Turkey, there must be integration between the infrastructure sectors in Syria, Turkey and Bulgaria." 

President Al-Assad added that this integration covers the fields of oil, gas and electricity in addition to road, railway and maritime transportation.

 "We want to connect the Arab region with Southern and Eastern Europe through Turkey and Bulgaria," President Al-Assad said. 

President Al-Assad pointed out that his visit to Bulgaria and the talks with His Bulgarian Counterpart, Parvanov, aims to 'revive friendship relations and restore warmth to these relations' focusing on how to ' lay down a solid and strong strategy for these relations' leading to increasing 'trade exchange' between Syria and Bulgaria. 

President Al-Assad pointed out that he explained to president Parvanov Syria's continued stance, as ever, in supporting the peace process in the Middle East and that he encouraged Bulgaria to play the possible role as to push Israel towards moving forward in the peace process, particularly within the frame of the recent US initiative which was launched about two months ago. 

President Al-Assad thanked President Parvanov and the Bulgarian Government's stance supporting the accession of Syria to the Association Agreement with the European Union. 

In reply to a question, President Al-Assad said that ''the relation with the European Union is important for Syria, because the EU is from a geographical point a neighbor, and because it is capable of playing an important role in solving our problems,' referring to the presence of 'interaction' relations between the two regions, whether positive or negative, and that the crises in the Middle East can never remain 'isolated' and would be 'reflected directly on Europe.' 

President Al-Assad added that there was a 'leap' in the closeness of analysis between Syria and most of the EU Countries, saying that what remains for this relation is to develop, which is linked to how the EU presents itself politically at the international level, which, in turn, depends on European-European dialogue, on one side, and on European-US on the other side, and on European-Arab from another side. 

For his part, president Parvanov said he is confident that this effective political dialogue will become a strong motive to realize economic cooperation prospects and increase the trade volume, pointing out to the considerable opportunities for enhancing cooperation in the energy sector. 

For his part, the Bulgarian President Parvanov expressed satisfaction with the course of the talks, saying that "after a long break in our bilateral relations, these talks come as part of the very effective political dialogue our relation is witnessing on all levels recently". 

President Parvanov said the talks focused on the future of the bilateral relations and their prospects more than they did on the traditions of these relations. 

President Parvanov expressed confidence that this political dialogue will become a strong motive to realize economic cooperation prospects and increase the trade exchange, adding that the Bulgarian government supports the Bulgarian firms which expressed desire to invest in the fields of trade, transportation and construction in Syria. 

The Bulgarian President affirmed that the two sides are in agreement concerning the good potentials for developing good cooperation in the field of energy, especially that Bulgaria is building its second electronuclear station and it will soon have the capability to export electricity to Syria. 

"Bulgaria and Syria are holding talks with their partners in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Caspian and Black Sea States to solve issues related to energy supplies such as oil and gas," he added. 

President Parvanov hoped that the economy officials in the two countries will be able to find greater potentials for cooperation in this sector. 

He added that the talks also tackled the role Bulgaria can play, as a member of the European Union, to help in formulating the European policy concerning the peace process in the Middle East. 

He pointed out that he stressed, in an interview with the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) a few days ago, Bulgaria's support to the Syrian legitimate demands concerning the Golan, and appreciation of Syria's positive role in the peace process. 

The Bulgarian President said the talks tackled as well ways of reactivating and reviving the negotiating process between the EU and Syria in order to establish partnership relations, as the EU is about to discuss this issue. 

President Parvanov said that Bulgaria will be one of the active and key countries in shaping the EU's stance concerning Syria and the negotiation process with it. 

Later on, Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov and his wife held a dinner banquet in honor of President Bashar al-Assad and Mrs. Asma al-Assad, attended by members of the Syrian and Bulgarian official delegations and a number of high-ranking officials in the friendly Republic of Bulgaria. 

 In his speech at the banquet, President al-Assad expressed happiness over his visit to the friendly country of Bulgaria which has solid historical relations with Syria dating back to more than half a century, throughout which the two countries have succeeded in laying down solid foundations for a fruitful and constructive cooperation in various aspects of life. 

 "Our two countries are located in one geo-strategic region due to the geographical proximity and the common interests," said President al-Assad, pointing out that Syria gives great attention to establishing a regional cooperation of which Bulgaria could be a natural part. 

 President al-Assad pointed out that the economic projects which have a regional dimension, particularly in the transport and energy fields, are not less important, and are sometimes more important than what could be achieved on the bilateral level. 

 "The cooperation and prosperity aspired by our peoples will still be unattainable as long as tension and instability continue in the Middle East due to Israel's continued rejection of the land-for-peace principle and the UN resolutions which stipulate for restoring the occupied Arab territories to their legitimate owners and establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, as well as for guaranteeing the Palestinian refugees' right to return and ending the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan and the Lebanese territories," President al-Assad said. 

 "We are as much committed to peace as to our rights, and we believe that peace cannot be solid and enduring unless it is just and comprehensive…We call on Bulgaria and the European Union countries to play a more active role to push Israel to reach peace because this would be of a great service to the stability and development in the region and the world." 

 For his part, Bulgarian President considered that President al-Assad's visit is evidence of the strong standing Syrian-Bulgarian relations, stressing that the relations between the two countries' peoples "are the most important capital to be maintained in the future, serving as a vivid bridge between the cultural and spiritual heritage of Syria and Bulgaria throughout history." 

 President Parvanov stressed that Bulgaria highly values Syria's role in the Middle East peace process and considers that Syria has a very important position in the region, being a main factor of its stability. 

He pointed out that his country shares the view which says that making the Middle East a nuclear-weapon-free zone is of a great importance not just for the stability of the region but also the world peace. 

 President Parvanov considered that Syria occupies a strategic position among Bulgaria's priorities with regard to developing its relations with the Middle East countries, adding that he is certain that President al-Assad's visit will come out with tangible results for both countries, stressing that Syria will get the full support of Bulgaria for all the initiatives aimed at activating and upgrading bilateral cooperation, trade and cultural exchange and regional cooperation.


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