Assad assures Bzhania of support for Abkhazia's sovereignty
SUKHUM. May 17 (Interfax) - Syria supports the people of Abkhazia and their right to sovereignty, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said while meeting with Abkhaz President Aslan Bzhania in Damascus.
"A large Abkhaz and Cherkessian diaspora lives in Syria. They are worthy citizens of our country and have defended its freedom. The presence of this diaspora will help strengthen the inter-cultural ties between our countries. Syria has supported and is supporting the people of Abkhazia and their right to sovereignty and will support it in the future," the Abkhaz presidential press service quoted Assad as saying.
"The Abkhaz president's visit will give substance to the agreements signed earlier between the states. The visit opens up new opportunities for developing cooperation in the tourist, economic, agricultural, and other sectors," Assad said.
Bzhania thanked Assad for Syria's recognition of Abkhazia's independence.
"We're meeting with you for the first time today, and therefore, I'd like to thank you personally for the decision to recognize the Republic of Abkhazia's independence and establish diplomatic relations with it. This is of historic significance to us. I'm sure the relationship between our countries will continue to strengthen and develop successfully," Bzhania said.
Following the meeting with Assad, Bzhania also met with Russian Ambassador to Syria Alexander Yefimov in Damascus.