On April 26, 2009, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Damascus.
During the meeting, Assad said China is an active, important force in the world arena. Currently the international situation is undergoing significant changes, he said, pointing to the impact of the global financial and economic crisis on the world nations and the international situation. New changes are also taking place in the Middle East situation, he added. Syria appreciates China for attaching importance to and actively pushing for the resolution of the Middle East issue and is ready to work with China to advance the Middle East peace process.
Assad noted that Syria-China relations have witnessed sound development. Syria appreciates China's just position on the issue of Golan Height and firmly supports China on the Taiwan issue. He hoped to further bilateral ties with China on economy, trade, tourism and other sectors under the circumstances of the global economic crisis, so as to push forward the bilateral ties.
Yang said the Chinese government attaches importance to the traditional friendship with Syria and is willing to join hands with Syria in promoting cooperation between the two countries in all areas. China will continue to support Syria on its just cause of safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity and hopes that Syria will realize its territorial unification in accordance with relevant UN resolutions, Yang said.
Yang said in the context of the spreading global financial crisis and significant changes taking place in the Middle East situation, China hopes to expand friendly exchanges and cooperation with Syria and will continue to expand bilateral trade. In the new situation, China is ready to strengthen investment and technology cooperation with Syria, especially pragmatic cooperation in energy, electric machinery, communications and tourism. China will also strengthen contacts and coordination with Syria in international and regional issues, and play a constructive role in helping realize comprehensive, just and enduring peace across the Middle East region, he added.
On the same day, Yang also held talks with his Syrian counterpart Walid Mualem, and they exchanged views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern.