Kremlin-backed Abkhaz leader Aslan Bzhania met with the Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad as part of the latter’s continuing visit to the occupied region to discuss bilateral relations and deepening cooperation.
“We attach great importance to the first visit of such a high-ranking delegation from the Syrian Arab Republic and testify to the desire to receive other representatives of the Syrian leadership and government in the near future,” Bzhania emphasized and conveyed an invitation for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Bzhania brought attention to the historic roots of Abkhaz-Syrian relations as well as the six international agreements that have been signed between the two. In particular, he highlighted the “joint Abkhazian-Syrian committee for economic, trade, scientific, technical, and cultural cooperation” and its efforts for deepening collaboration in these fields.
“We consider it extremely important to work towards investment exchange, as well as the use of transit, and export trade potential,” Bzhania denoted.
He expressed readiness to cooperate with Syria “on all international platforms and hopes for Syria’s support in expanding contacts with Syria-friendly countries in the Middle East.”
For his part, FM Mekdad thanked Bzhania for the reception and stated, “the friendship between the two presidents gives us reason to expect promising relations between our countries.”
He also remarked that “During negotiations with Minister Inal Ardzinba, I realized that we have no disagreements…” On that note, FM Mekdad expressed optimism about developing bilateral relations and emphasized that they will assist their respective Ambassadors “so that every issue that was discussed during our meetings is fulfilled.”
“Abkhazia has paid a high price for its independence, and we will help you defend it together,” the Syrian Foreign Minister pledged.
The meeting was attended by Jansukh Nanba, the Abkhaz “head of the presidential administration,” Inal Ardzinba, “the foreign minister,” Bagrat Khutaba, the Abkhaz “ambassador to Syria,” and Riad Haddad, the Syrian Ambassador to Russia.
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