Talks are also likely to focus on measures to enhance business and energy ties, given India’s significant investments in Syria’s oil sector.
Al Moualem’s visit comes at a time when talks facilitated by the US and Russia to resolve Syria’s five-year-old conflict have gained momentum. This is the first visit to India by such a high ranking Syrian leader since the civil war between the Bashar al-Assad regime and its opponents began in 2010.
In 2013, Delhi twice hosted Syrian presidential adviser Bouthaina Shaaban for a de-bfrief on the crisis. The ongoing political dialogue, situation in Syria, Iraq and the greater West Asian region will figure prominently at the dialogue during Al Moualem’s visit, sources said.
Even as the Syrian government has stopped issuing visas to Indians with an eye to control movement of radical youth to the theater zone, few Indians from the Gulf have reached Syria to join the terror group from third country, informed sources pointed out.
It is also hoped that Damascus will be able to provide leads into the 39 Indians who were abducted by IS from Iraq in 2014 and remain untraceable so far. Sources said the abducted Indians may be used by the terror group in non-combat affairs.