Update-al-Moallem: Syrian-Russian Committee meetings build solid base for strategic cooperation

Sochi, SANA – Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem said on Tuesday that the meetings of the Syrian-Russian Joint Committee have built a solid base for the strategic cooperation in the economic field between the two countries that is in line with the Syrian government’s reconstruction programs.

Al-Moallem’s remarks came at the opening of the plenary session of the Syrian-Russian Joint Committee for Economic, Trade, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, held in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

During the session, the final protocol of the Committee was signed by Al-Moallem and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin in their position as heads of the Syrian and Russian sides.

“We are getting closer, through cooperation with you and with the rest of our allies, to final victory,” said al-Moallem, expressing Syria’s great appreciation of Russia’s principled stance and support for Syria “in our joint battle against the Takfiri terrorist groups.”

He went on saying that “It is normal that we fight together our battle of building the Syrian economy,” stressing that both sides have been able, at the end of the Joint Committee, to “build a strategic base for the economic building between us.”

Al-Moallem stressed that he is “not worried about the speed of implementing what we have agreed on,” adding that the faster the Russian companies meet their obligations, the faster the Syrian economy recovers, “and the more assured you will be about your investments in the Syrian economy being remunerative.”

Addressing the plenary session, Rogozin said the Russian companies will start working in the reconstruction process in Syria after specific agreements on issues proposed on the agenda
of the 10th session of the Join Committee have been positively reached, particularly regarding the customs facilitations and exchange of goods and commodities between Syria and Russia.

Deliberations of the 10th session of the Syrian-Russian Joint Committee for Economic, Trade, Scientific and Technical Cooperation were held earlier today.

A bilateral meeting was held this morning between  al-Moallem and Rogozin.

An expanded ministerial-level meeting co-chaired by al-Moallem and Rozogin was also held.

On Monday, Syrian and Russian technical experts started their meetings in Sochi within the framework of the Syrian-Russian Joint Committee.

A number of Syrian and Russian businessmen are taking part in Committee’s 10th session.

In a statement to journalists following signature ceremony, al-Moallem said that the protocol included strategic projects that will be immediately implemented in addition to other projects to be carried within specific timelines outlined in the agreement.

He expressed satisfaction and comfort to lay down a solid foundation for strategic cooperation between Syria and Russia, particularly in the economic sector in a way that aligns with the Syrian government’s reconstruction programs.

In turn, Rogozin said that Russia’s assistance and support provided to Syria to fight terrorism will lead to significant results and end with achieving victory, adding  “We realize that after war, there is a more difficult and complicated stage ahead of us which is rebuilding Syria.”

He referred to a series of meetings that have been held recently in Damascus and Moscow to discuss bilateral cooperation in different sectors, pointing out that Sochi meeting focused on post-war stage as the war seems so close to its end and the Syrian army, backed by the Russian air force, is eliminating terrorists.

The Russian Deputy Prime Minister described the protocol as deep, serious and built on solid basis after which several agreements will be implemented in order to help Syria overcome a very difficult stage.

He added the two sides discussed industrial cooperation and how to benefit from the Russian expertise and advanced civil technologies in rebuilding Syria.

In a statement to SANA correspondent, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Ali Ghanem announced the signature of several memos of understanding with Russia on cooperation in oil sector, adding that the Syrian side held a number of effective meetings with Russian companies operating in this field.

He underlined the Ministry’s unremitting efforts to rehabilitate facilities damaged by the terrorist war waged on the country, stressing that the oil sector has been subjected to systematic attacks by terrorists or the so-called international coalition resulting in economic losses of USD 68 billion.

Ghanem indicated to the rapid progress made in rehabilitating destroyed facilities in order to put them back into service and re-run the wheel of production gradually, highlighting the key role of Russian side in speeding up this process.

For his part, Transport Minister Ali Hammoud said that the two sided discussed several issues and signed many agreements in different fields, the most important of which is cooperation in railways and the rehabilitation of the railway linking the Coastal area and phosphate mines in Homs countryside with the aim of transporting around 10 million tons of phosphate annually to the Coast for exportation.

Other cooperation agreements were signed on providing vehicles, trucks and tanks needed, marine transport and activating the regular shipping line between the Syrian Coast and the Russian ports, he added.

Electricity Minister Mohammad Zuhair Kharboutli noted to signing a protocol with the Russian side to complete the implementation of 4 strategic power generation projects that will be established in 4 different areas across Syria.

In a similar statement, Minister of Finance, Maamoun Hamdan described the meetings as positive, excellent and of high-level where several MoUs and cooperation agreements in trade and finance were signed.

He added that means to settle issues related to the financial sector, help Syrian and Russian companies, and insurance and reinsurance were discussed, noting that in regard to the customs sector, the two sides agreed on the need for starting the implementation of previously-signed protocols.

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