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India Funding Industrial Recovery Projects in Syria

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Walid Al Moualem, Syrian deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj at Hyderabad House in New Delhi last year. Photo: Sushil Kumar/ Hindustan Times

EIRNS—Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL) is going to revive its thermal power project in Syria; Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) also wants to restart two projects there. Both will receive funding under an Indian government line of credit. The same goes for another Indian company, Apollo International, which is to modernize a steel plant in Syria. The Indians will also be granted concessions for phosphate blocks in the Syrian desert zone. India wants to do more: reconstruction projects in housing, power, and textile and food production in Syria.

Furthermore, the first industrial fair in Damascus since the eruption of the armed conflict will be held in August, with numerous Indian companies invited. It is said that for the time being, Syria is giving priority contracts to BRICS countries which have stayed loyal to the Assad government during the past years. India is one of the few countries that maintained an embassy in Damascus, and some diplomatic visits have been conducted from both sides. Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis may visit India later this year.