Abu Dhabi: Bashar Al Assad, President of the Syrian Arab Republic, arrived on Sunday in the UAE on an official visit accompanied by his wife, the First Lady of Syria Asma Al Assad.
Upon his arrival at the Presidential Flight in Abu Dhabi, he was received by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Emirati fighter jets escorted the plane carrying the Syrian President as he entered the UAE’s airspace, welcoming his visit.
President Al Assad was accorded an official reception upon his arrival at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi.
Sheikh Mohamed escorted the President of Syria to the podium, and the national anthem of Syria was played, while 21 rounds of artillery were fired to welcome his visit.
The Syrian President was also received by Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser; Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court; Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Advisor for Special Affairs at the Ministry of Presidential Court; Ali Mohammed Hammad Al Shamsi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for National Security; Dr Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to the UAE President; Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; Abdullah bin Sultan bin Awad Al Nuaimi, Minister of Justice; and Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar, Minister of State.
The Syrian President’s delegation included Dr Samer al-Khalil, Syrian Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade; Mansour Fadlallah Azzam, Minister of Presidential Affairs of Syria; Boutros al-Hallaq, Syrian Minister of Information; Dr Ayman Sosan, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister; and Dr Ghassan Abbas, Chargé d’Affairs of the Syrian Embassy in the UAE.
Meeting of leaders
Sheikh Mohamed and Bashar Al Assad discussed the fraternal relations between the two countries and ways to strengthen cooperation and constructive joint work which would contribute to achieving their mutual interests.
During the meeting at Qasr Al Watan, Sheikh Mohamed welcomed the Syrian President and his delegation at his second country.
He pointed out that the visit coincides with the same month as the visit that the Syrian President paid to the country in March last year.
Sheikh Mohamed offered his condolences to the Syrian President and the people of Syria for the earthquake victims.
He emphasised his confidence in Syria's ability and the determination of its people to overcome this ordeal and move Syria to a new era.
"Syria's absence from its brothers has been long, and it is time for it to return to its Arab surroundings," Sheikh Mohamed said. He emphasised the importance of making every effort to facilitate the dignified return of Syrian refugees to their country.
Sheikh Mohamed voiced the UAE's support for the dialogue between Syria and Turkey to make progress in the dossier of the return of refugees to their country.
He reaffirmed the UAE's support for Syria and its people in all circumstances.
He praised the Syrian community in the UAE and emphasized the depth of the UAE-Syria relationship.
The talks also touched on the importance of building on recent regional developments to achieve stability, security, and prosperity for the region's countries and peoples.
Sheikh Mohamed welcomed Al Assad’s visit to the UAE and emphasised the importance of bringing Syria back into the Arab fold by building bridges and strengthening relations among all Arab countries.
The Syrian President underscored that the UAE has always taken rational and ethical positions, and that it plays a positive and effective role in the Middle East to ensure strong inter-Arab relations.
Al Assad emphasised that the UAE's role is consistent with the Syrian vision, which is aimed at strengthening inter-Arab relations in preparation for the joint Arab action. He thanked Sheikh Mohamed, the UAE government and people for their assistance to the Syrian people in dealing with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.
With inputs from WAM