Syria, Iran sign economic deals for Syria’s reconstruction

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Photo shows the temporary shelters at Dong Bak Village in Sanamxay District, Attapeu Province, Laos for residents affected by the Xe Pian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower project dam that collapsed on July 23. Xinhua

DAMASCUS (Xinhua) – Syria has signed a long-term economic cooperation deal with Iran covering the industrial, agricultural, service, infrastructure and energy sectors among others.

Prime Minister Emad Khamis, in a press conference in Damascus with the visiting Eshaq Jahangiri, the first vice president of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, said the new agreement is “a true historic station for a new kind of cooperation” with Iran.

He said the agreement covers the industrial, agricultural, service, infrastructure and energy sectors among others.

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Mr Khamis said his government also reached an agreement with Iran on the banking sector as well as establishing an electricity generating station in the coastal city of Latakia.

Both sides also signed agreements to expand the ports in Latakia and Tartus.

The prime minister continued that they have dozens of projects that will be continued in the oil sector mainly in the eastern region.

“Syria is serious to provide facilitation to the friends in the Iranian companies to invest in Syria and the reconstruction process,” he said.

Mr Jahangiri highlighted the banking cooperation as the base for economic cooperation, saying the central banks of Iran and Syria have agreed to establish banking cooperation deals between the two countries.

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The Iranian official also mentioned the electricity sector, saying they will build an electricity generating station in Latakia city. The agreements also reached for the rehabilitation of other electricity stations in the country.

Both sides also highlighted the need to link Syria with Iran through Iraq by railways so that Iran has a direct link to the Mediterranean.

A permanent fair for Iranian goods will also be opened in Damascus, he said.

The Syrian-Iranian relations support the peace in the world, Mr Jahangiri said, hoping that the economic relations between both countries could reach the same level of the political relations.

He added that if it wasn’t for the successful counter-terror measures in Syria and Iraq, “we would have been facing terrorism in Europe.”

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Iran has been a key backer to the Syrian government in the face of the more than seven-year war and is now aiming to be a part of the reconstruction process with the dwindling battles across the country.

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