As global outrage against Syria’s brutal crackdown against its protesters grows daily, the Damascus regime has reached out to India in order to prevent condemnation by the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU).
Following the departure of the Italian ambassador to Damascus, Syrian officials have asked India, as chair of the UN Security Council, not to submit to "Western propaganda" regarding its moves against the opposition in the Mideast country.
India has expressed its “concern” and called for restraint from Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad.
"The [Indian foreign] minister expressed concern on the recent escalation of violence [and] he urged the government of Syria to exercise restraint, abjure violence and expedite the implementation of political reforms taking into account the aspirations of the people of Syria," India’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Syria’s deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad is on a three-day visit to New Delhi, meeting with his Indian counterpart, S.M. Krishna.
Mekdad reportedly brief Krishna on the causes behind the violence in Syria as well as reforms proposed by Assad.
The foreign minister told an Indian television station: "I am here to brief the Indian leadership against the prefabricated misinformation and on the unrealistic propaganda machinery against Syria.”
Mekdad added: "Some circles in the West and in the United States want to aggravate the situation in Syria by supporting terrorist groups against the will of the overwhelming majority of the Syrian people.”
In a separate interview with another Indian news outlet, Mekdad stated: "What we expect India to do is not to allow Western countries to use the UN as a forum to support terrorism, to support extremism and to support the killings of innocent people."
After meeting with senior Indian officials, Mekdad said that the Assad regime is willing to hold a "national dialogue" in order to end the bloody crisis.
"All forces willing to participate in the National Dialogue are welcome, but Syria will never discuss or negotiate with terrorists and extremist groups," he said.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council failed to come to a unified agreement in officially condemning the Syrian government. According to reports, since the revolt in Syria began four months ago, at least 12,000 have been detained, 1,500 have died and another 3,000 are believed to be missing.
Also, after recalling its ambassador to Syria to protest the violent crackdown, Italy is calling on all fellow EU countries to do likewise.