DAMASCUS, (SANA) – Chairing a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi, voiced satisfaction over the results of his visit with a government delegation to Iran, saying that the visit was important and productive in terms of promoting and boosting cooperation between the two countries in the fields of economy, finance, banking, petroleum, energy, services and development.
Al-Halqi underlined the importance of the meetings conducted during these visits with Iranian officials who affirmed Iran’s’ support for the Syrian people and the political program launched by President Bashar al-Assad, asking Ministers to double their efforts to implement this program.
The Prime Minister reviewed some administrative issues, stressing the importance of dealing with shortcomings and administrative bureaucracy, instructing Ministers to speed up steps to provide job opportunities to the families of the military and civilian martyrs.
He also stressed the importance of inspecting the situation in the provinces through field visits made by the concerned authorities and focusing on evaluating administrative performances and following up on the matter of truant workers.
The Cabinet discussed several issues related to supplies, economy and services, highlighting the necessity of providing citizens’ essential needs such as fuel and electricity.
The Cabinet asked all the public sides to support the efforts of the Ministry of Electricity and the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources in protecting their facilities, asking the Petroleum Ministry to adopt the needed procedures as to ensure the constant availability of fuel.
The Cabinet approved two bills related to vehicle license plates and transition of vehicle ownership.
Afterwards, Prime Minister al-Halqi said in a statement to the press that this meeting focused on the visit of the government delegation he chaired to Iran and its results, asserting that Syrian-Iranian relations have grown to the current level of strategic and political levels, and that the desired result is for relations to continue growing to cover economic, development and services fields.
He said that the timing of the visit was crucial due to the current conditions in Syria and the considerable damage caused by terrorism to the services, economy and development sector, with the visit resulting in signing a number of agreements in the fields of services and electricity, including a an agreement for a credit loan valued at USD 1 billion, half of which will be dedicated to the electricity sector.
Al-Halqi added that a part of the aforementioned loan is dedicated to the health sector, as agreements were signed to receive hospital supplies and equipment and medicine from Iran valued at USD 200 million, while another part is allocated to support development and investment sectors such as grain mills.
The Prime Minister went on to say that the visit also resulted in an agreement on the export of Syrian products to Iran and trading them for Iranian products, in addition to importing petroleum products, flour and potatoes from Iran to cover local needs.
He said that Syrian-Iranian cooperation in the financial and banking sector helps support Syrian economy and the Syrian Pound, noting that Iran will make a deposit in the Central Bank of Syria to help in this field, asserting that the current reserves of foreign currency are good and that the deposit will have positive effects on local economy and the SYP exchange rates.
Al-Halqi said that the Syrian people will experience the positive results of the visit to Iran and will have access to the services they had been accustomed to before the crisis, voicing confidence in overcoming the crisis and restoring security to the entirety of Syria.
He reiterated that the government is committed to carrying out the political program to resolve the crisis, with several ongoing and consecutive meetings being dedicated to implement an executive mechanism linked to a timetable for this program.
The Prime Minister concluded by affirming that the Syrian government is open to all political forces, including the national opposition in Syria and abroad and even militants who were misled if they abandon their arms and engage in dialogue to contribute in building a new, democratic and pluralistic Syria.
M. Nassr/ H. Said / H. Sabbagh