The second "High Level International Pledging Conference for Syria’’ on Wednesday is being held under UN's initiative to address critical humanitarian needs for the Syrians

Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed is leading an Indian delegation for an aid conference on Syria being hosted by Kuwait.

The meet will serve as a useful curtain raiser and sounding board for many countries like India that have been invited for next week’s Geneva-II international meet for a political solution to end the Syrian civil war but are not in the first ring of countries which are already holding confabulations at various levels.

The second “High Level International Pledging Conference for Syria’’ on Wednesday is being held under the initiative of the UN Secretary General to address critical humanitarian needs for the Syrians.

The first International Pledging Conference for Syria was also held in Kuwait around the same time last year and saw the international community committing pledging nearly dollars 1.5 billions in humanitarian assistance. India had then pledged dollars 2.5 millions in life saving drugs, food and other essentials, part of which was disbursed through the World Food Programme.

More important, the Minister and his team will also be calling on some of his counterparts and Heads of the States during his stay in Kuwait.

India had last week said it was ready for Geneva-II even as Iran’s participation hangs in balance. It had sent Sandeep Kumar, South Block’s point man for the region, to Syria late last month in order to interact with all the main players and get a firsthand assessment of the developments.

According to official sources, Mr. Kumar, Joint Secretary (West Asia and North America) in the Ministry of External Affairs, met Hassan Abdul Azim, head of the opposition National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change besides government representatives.

Russia was the first country to call for India’s participation in international deliberations on Syria when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had visited Moscow last October.

India has allotted dollars 1 million for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons and offered the services of its experts in the destruction activity and training of personnel.