The News [Jang]
Wednesday February 18, 2004

Zil Haj 26, 1424 A.H.
ISSN 1563-9479

Aga Khan, Assad discuss development of Syria

DAMASCUS: His Highness the Aga Khan, yesterday concluded a three-day official visit to Syria during which he had meetings with President Bashar al-Assad and a series of discussions with Ministers on key development priorities for the country.

The Aga Khanís discussions with President Assad touched on a range of issues but focused on specific areas in which institutions of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) could expand its activities.

"Our very fruitful discussions," said the Aga Khan, "will now enable us to concentrate resources where the AKDNís experience can address priority needs identified in co-operation with the Syrian Government."

"These include," he said, "specific areas of cultural and economic concern, education policy and institutional support in the healthcare sector and the challenges faced by rural populations."

In his meetings with President Assad, Prime Minister Naji Al-Otri, Speaker of the Parliament Mahmoud Abrash as well as Ministers of Culture and Tourism, Education,

Health, the Aga Khan reviewed both the initiatives launched by the Network since the signing of a Framework Development Agreement with the Syrian Government in November 2001, and the directions of future activity in each domain.