Minister slams US decision to end deals with Commercial Bank of Syria
The US decision to end financial deals with the Commercial Bank of Syria comes within the framework of the continuous pressures on Syria. It has pure political considerations, Syria's Finance Minister said Saturday. Mohammad al-Hussein, in a statement to SANA, said: “The Commercial Bank of Syria, as a governmental bank, is applying the international banking norms and basis of combating money laundering and financing terrorism.”
He pointed out that Syria has issued the decree No. 33 for the year 2005, that stated the establishment of a specialized board for combating money laundering and financing terrorism as well it had taken a number of procedures to develop the CBS performance, in particular, and the banking sector in general.
“The new US decision proves falsity of the US allegations regarding eagerness on reform in the region, inquiring how deals would be stopped with a bank that finances more than 75% of the Syrian trade? So they again prove their unconcern about reform and modernization of economy in Syria.”
“Since mid-2004 The Finance Ministry had started a dialogue with the US Treasury Department regarding accusations directed to the CBC. A number of the US delegations had visited Syria and held meetings with officials in the bank and Finance Ministry with the aim of clarifying the extent of the CBC commitment to the international banking norms,” the Syrian minister asserted.
On the calims that Syria holds Iraqi money moved by the old regime, al-Hussein said: “All the Iraqi assets have been remitted into Iraq last September in accordance to the understanding memorandum that was approved by the Syrian Minister of Finance and Iraqi Minister of Oil.”
The minister added: “We, alongside our brothers in Iraq, have the right to ask where the former Iraqi regime assets and the Iraqi oil revenues were expended after the occupation of Iraq?".
On Thursday, the US Treasury Department ordered all commercial banks in the United States to end their relationships with two Syrian banks on the pretext of supporting the national Palestinian and Lebanese resistance.