Assad starts Turkey visit
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Mrs. Asmaa al-Assad on Tuesday started an official visit to Turkey.
Syria's state news agency SANA said Assad was in Turkey for talks on "regional issues of common interest." The sYrian leader's last visit to Turkey was in January 2004.
SANA said Turkey and Syria have a common goal of insuring stability in the region, "which is passing through a very delicate stage and is facing a lot of problems, mainly the situation in Iraq, the Palestinian issue and the Israeli occupation of Arab lands."
Turkey and Syria have been increasing economic ties in recent years, with Turkey becoming the biggest foreign investor in Syria, according to SANA. More than 30 Turkish investment projects in Syria worth $150 million - mostly industrial projects - have been approved over the past two years, SANA said. Trade between the two sides increased from $257 million in 1992 to $635 million in 2004.