The Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar reported on Sunday that Assad would be leading the politico-economic Syrian delegation to China.
“A high-ranking Syrian delegation is likely to visit the Chinese capital in the coming weeks to hold high-level meetings with Chinese officials to discuss the development of bilateral relations between the two countries,” the Beirut-based daily said.
The Lebanese newspaper quoted unnamed officials in Syria as saying that the visit would be “very important” as Assad would meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in an official ceremony.
“Assad’s visit will constitute a strategic milestone in the course of Syrian-Chinese relations, and an additional strong dose of the Chinese role in the region,” the paper added.
According to the Lebanese newspaper, the visit, which comes after 12 years, highlights China’s keenness to throw its weight behind the legitimacy of Assad and his government at the international level despite the US attempts to obstruct the path of Arab-Syrian reconciliation and hinder Syria’s political progress.
The paper added that China would help Syria prevent its economic collapse and contribute to the Arab country's reconstruction projects after more than a decade of foreign-backed militancy left a sizable portion of Syrians in destitute.
The visit also confirms China's desire to expand its role and presence in the West Asia region, and to send messages to the US administration about ignoring the Western concerns that Beijing has observed in recent years, Al Akhbar stressed.
The report said Assad is expected to attend a conference on China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) next month on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the plan’s announcement.
One of the most prominent routes for the BRI to reach Europe is through the Mediterranean, which means passing through Syria from Iraq and Iran, and before that, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The passage takes place via the western Syrian port city of Latakia or via land transportation.
The last official meeting between the two sides' authorities was in July 2021 when Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Damascus and held talks with Assad as part of his tour of the region.
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