Bashar al-Assad sent a letter to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on means of developing bilateral relations and latest conditions in the region. The letter was conveyed by Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem during his meeting with the Ukrainian President in Kiev on Wednesday, SANA reported.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed political developments in the Middle East and upgrading bilateral relations to strategic levels in the interest of the two friendly countries and their people.
President Yanukovych said Ukraine considers Syria an important country, not only in the Middle East but in the Arab world, adding that the resumption of dialogue on a high political level will give further impetus to bilateral relations.
He added that his country welcomes President al-Assad's visit to Ukraine, stressing the importance of this visit and voicing confidence in the potential and broad cooperation prospects between the two countries.
During the official session of talks on Wednesday, the Syrian and Ukrainian sides discussed the ties between the two countries, the signed agreements and means of activating them, as well as exploring new prospects for cooperation and carrying out new investment projects in industrial and agricultural fields.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Hryschenko said Ukraine is ready for broadening the scope of dialogue with Syria in politics, economy and all other fields.
They also discussed the political situation in the Middle East and Syria's important role in achieving security and stability in the region.
Views concurred regarding enhancing bilateral relations between the two friendly countries and exerting efforts to achieve just and comprehensive peace in the region on the basis of the international legitimacy resolutions and the land-for-peace principle.
In a joint press conference with Foreign Minister al-Moallem, Hryschenko stressed Syria's pivotal role in the Middle East and hailed the developing Syrian-Ukrainian relations, indicating that Syria was among the first countries to recognize Ukraine, establishing diplomatic relations with it in March 1992 following Ukraine's declaration of independence in January 1991.
He said the trade exchange volume between the two countries surpassed USD 1 billion in 2008. Hryschenko welcomed President al-Assad's forthcoming visit to Ukraine, affirming that the visit will give extra momentum to bilateral relations.
For his part, al-Moallem said Syria is eager to upgrade relations with Ukraine to high levels to benefit both countries and establish multilateral cooperation relations. Al-Moallem stressed the importance of joint efforts to explore new prospects for mutual cooperation to double trade exchange volume and develop bilateral relations.