Syrian foreign minister to visit India

New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem will pay a three-day official visit to India from January 9 to brief the Indian leadership about the latest situation in his country.

He will also aprise the Indian government about the ongoing military operation launched by Russia to eliminate the Islamic State terrorist group.

Muallem will meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, besides other government functionaries.

The visit assumes importance in view of fresh initiatives taken by the UN to bring about peace in war-torn Syria, where more than 300,000 people have been killed in the past four years and seven million have fled to other countries.

European nations have also witnessed a huge influx of Syrian refugees.

Muallam is also expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi, during his visit to Moscow last month, held detailed talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the growing threat of Islamic State and the Syrian crisis.

Since the Paris terror attack, many western nations have directly or indirectly established contact with the Syrian government on activities of the Islamic State.

Special advisor to the Syrian president Buthina Shaban had visited India in March 2013. She met Indian ministers and apprised them on the situation in her country.

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