India, Syria to hold ministerial meeting

NEW DELHI: India is planning a ministerial level joint commission meeting with war-torn Syria in Damascus in the near future, aiming to widen its strategic presence in West Asia amid tumultuous regional geopolitics less than a year after the meeting was postponed following the threat of war.

The Narendra Modi-led NDA government is also planning to offer a new line of credit to assist Syria in its rebuilding process, according to people aware of the matter. India’s line of credit to Syri ..

Nearly 100 Indian companies participated in an industrial fair that was hosted in Damascus in 2018. Apollo International had modernised a steel plant under India’s line of credit facility of $25 million even under difficult circumstances, while Bhel is executing a project in Syria under another line of credit. Damascus is also willing to offer phosphate blocks to India in the Syrian desert zone.
The European Union has estimated that Syria would require $245 billion to revive its economy. India is eyeing major reconstruction projects across housing, power, textile and food sectors in Syria.

India had made two significant investments in Syria in the oil sector in the pre-conflict days. First, ONGC and IPR International signed an agreement in January 2004 for exploration of oil and natural gas in Block 24 near Deir ez-Zor in northern Syria.

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