Cease violence, India tells Syrians

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) India Tuesday appealed to “all sides” in Syria to cease violence “and resolve all issues peacefully”.

On the occasion of Syria’s National Day (April 17), President Pranab Mukherjee expressed concern at the violence that has left more than 60,000 people dead, according to one UN assessment.

“India and the Syrian Arab Republic have traditionally enjoyed warm and friendly relations. We are, therefore, concerned at the violence and loss of lives in Syria,” Mukherjee said in a message to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

“We hope that all sides will cease violence at the earliest and resolve all issues peacefully through discussions in accordance with the Geneva Communique, taking into account the aspirations of the people of Syria,” he said.

Mukherjee said it gave him “great pleasure to extend warm greetings and felicitations to you and to the friendly people of the Syrian Arab Republic on the occasion of your National Day” on behalf of the Indian government and people.

“I avail of this occasion to reiterate India’s commitment to further strengthen and diversify our bilateral cooperation to the mutual benefit of our people,” he added.

The civil war in Syria erupted in March 2011, with opposition forces attempting to topple the Assad regime. The Syrian opposition has put the death toll at nearly 75,000.

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