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India a role model for developing countries: Syria
K S R Menon |
November 15, 2003 20:53 IST
India today announced a $25 million line of credit to Syria as the two countries signed nine agreements covering a wide range of fields to boost bilateral ties.
The agreements, including three memoranda of understanding on technical co-operation, information technology and services, and agriculture and allied sectors, were signed after extensive talks between Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.
Assad described India as a role model of development for developing countries, particularly Syria.
After the talks, External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha told reporters that India would extend the credit after Syria works out the areas where the funds are to be used.
Sinha also announced a $1 million grant for the National Bio-technology Centre that India is helping to set up in Damascus.
The other agreements -- spanning science and technology, co-operation in literary fields, small-scale industry, bio-technology, and education -- paved the way for a comprehensive upgrade of bilateral ties.
The agreement on education, apart from continuing exchanges of Syrian students with India, also provides for establishing an IT education centre in Syria.
India will also offer help for the design, innovation, and construction of the Syrian National Bio-tech Centre and its labs to international standards.
The small industries pact will provide for India to do feasibility studies in Syria to identify and promote the sector in the country. Under the cultural agreement, a full-fledged retrospective of Bollywood has been proposed at the Damascus International Film Festival in December.
India and Syria also agreed to set up a three-member team of experts, one each from oil, gas and petrochemicals, for consultations and to intensify co-operation in hydrocarbons, Sinha said.