NEW DELHI (Agencies) - India and Syria on Wednesday decided to strengthen their ties in hydrocarbon and other sectors as they signed three pacts, including one on avoidance of double taxation, according to the Indian media. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, on his first visit here, also invited Indian investors to take advantage of the "enormous" opportunities in his country created by improved investment climate. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Al-Assad held wide-ranging talks that covered ways to enhance bilateral trade and commerce. Encouragement of joint ventures in a variety of areas, including the Syrian phosphatic fertilisers, hydrocarbon and power sectors were highlighted during the talks, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said. After the talks, the two sides signed three pacts - Agreement on Mutual Promotion and Protection of Investments, Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income and a Work Plan under MoU in the field of agriculture. Meanwhile, Syria said it supported a truce between Hamas and Israel, calling on the Jewish state to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip. "We support this agreement. We support the lifting of the boycott of Gaza, and we hope and we are waiting to see whether the Israelis are going to fulfil their part of this truce," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said. He also said Syria and Israel were preparing for a new round of indirect peace talks after what was described as successful contacts in Turkey over the weekend, but gave no further details. Later addressing Indian businessmen, Assad said Syria's "commitment to reform and economic liberalisation" was being affected by the situation in the Middle East. But he said "the indirect talks between Syria and Israel and the recent Doha Agreement which has provided a tangible step towards national reconciliation in Lebanon, gives us reason to be optimistic about the future of our region." "Only peace and stability will ensure sustainable development and long-term prosperity for our region and the world." In his speech, Assad was full of praise for India's advances in the information sector urging Indian entrepreneurs to invest in Syria.