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Syria Says Lack of Peace in Mideast Hurts Development - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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DAMASCUS, (AFP) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Saturday the absence of peace in the Middle East harms the region’s economic development, following talks with the visiting Indian president.

The absence of peace in our region due to Israel’s policies… raises tensions and undermines economic development and prosperity,” Assad said at a news conference with visiting President Pratibha Patil.

He also expressed the hope that Syria-India relations will aid international efforts to help put “an end to the suffering of the Palestinian people.”

Assad reiterated that key ally Iran “and all (other) countries have a right to nuclear energy for peaceful means.”

But he stressed that the Middle East must be free of weapons of mass destruction — a presumed reference to Israel which is widely believed to be the region’s sole if undeclared nuclear-armed power.

Patil arrived in Damascus on Friday after visiting the United Arab Emirates.

Assad said he discussed with Patil ways of bolstering ties with emerging markets in India, namely in the sectors of information technology, pharmaceuticals and textiles.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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