China Announces 'strategic Partnership' With Syria
Hangzhou, China, Sept 22 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 23rd Sep, 2023 ) :Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a "strategic partnership" with Syria on Friday during talks with President Bashar al-Assad, who is seeking financial support to help rebuild his devastated country.
China is one of only a handful of countries outside the middle East that Assad has visited since the 2011 start of a civil war that killed more than half a million people, displaced millions and battered Syria's infrastructure and industry.
Assad is the latest in a string of leaders ostracised by the West to be feted by Beijing, with Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro and Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi visiting this year, as well as top Russian officials.
"Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad on Friday jointly announced the establishment of the China-Syria strategic partnership," according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
Relations between the two countries "have withstood the test of international changes", Xi said.
Assad, in turn, said he "thanked the Chinese government for everything you have done to stand alongside the Syrian people in their cause and their trials", according to a readout from Syrian state news agency SANA.
"I hope that our meeting today will lay the foundations for broad-based and long-term strategic cooperation in all areas," he added.
Analysts say that Assad's visit represents an important step towards returning to the international fold after years of US-led isolation of his regime.
Syria's war began after Assad's repression of peaceful pro-democracy protests escalated into a deadly conflict that pulled in foreign powers and militants.