India and Syria enjoy strong and historic relations, formed during India’s post-Independence outreach to the Arab world. Regardless of the dispensation ruling in India, New Delhi has always maintained good relations with the Assad family that has presided over the destiny of Syria since 1971. India and Syria have taken common position on most global issues at international fora. Syria has also been appreciative of India’s position that there should be no outside interference in the internal affairs of the Arab nation.

Amid the ongoing conflict in his country, Syria’s Ambassador in India, Riad Abbas, has for several years been religiously carrying out his duty of garnering support for the beleaguered Bashar al-Assad regime. A popular figure in India, Abbas is one of the most prominent faces at all major diplomatic and other engagements in the National Capital, where he is quite often found explaining to everyone the latest developments in his country.

In this brief interaction with The Statesman, the Syrian envoy talks about his country’s relations with India and blames the US, Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia for the current crisis in his country. Excerpts

How will you describe the current situation in Syria?

The current situation in Syria is much stabilised and under control. We have been successful in defeating the terror groups in Syria and with the help and support of our friendly countries we are reaching normalcy.

Which countries do you believe are responsible for the conflict in Syria?

It is the USA and its puppets like Israel Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

How do you view India’s position on the current crisis in Syria?

Syria and India share strong, friendly ties and India’s steadfast belief in the Syrian government is commendable and highly appreciated.

India is also affected by cross-border terrorism. Do you agree with India’s stand that there is no good or bad terrorist?

Definitely there is no good or bad terrorism or terrorist. A terrorist is a terrorist and all countries should fight against terrorism wherever it exists.

How do you look at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Palestine?

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Palestine can be registered as a significant event. And it enhances the stable policy of India towards different countries.

Do you support India’s candidature for a permanent seat on the UN security council?

Syria always supports India in all international organisations and believes that India is a great and powerful nation and deserves this stature. Syria is in full support of India.