Lebanon, Syria Sign Transport Deals
Lebanon and Syria signed two agreements on Wednesday to boost cooperation in land and air transport, reported the Daily Star.
The land transport agreement promises to resurrect an old railway line running between Tripoli and Tartous, on the Syrian coast.
It also pledges to reopen another neglected track running from Beirut through Riyaq to Damascus.
“We hope this railway will help traders in the Bekaa Valley transport their goods more cheaply and easily,” said Syrian Transport Minister Makram Obeid.
Reopening the old railways will link Lebanon to two massive rail networks running from Europe to Iran and spanning Jordan, Iraq and the Gulf, the minister told reporters.
The other agreement signed by the two transport ministers on Wednesday, the first Lebanese-Syrian agreement on cooperation in aviation, will allow Middle East Airlines to operate out of Damascus and Syrian Arab Airlines to operate out of Beirut International Airport, said the paper.
The aviation agreement will also allow Lebanon’s national air freighter, TransMediterranean Airways, to fly cargo from Damascus to any destination in the world and lays the groundwork for possible future cargo-sharing arrangements.
Lebanon is struggling to climb out of the economic hole created by decades of civil war and an Israeli invasion.
Israel withdrew from south Lebanon in May 2000, leaving behind land mines, orphans and ruined infrastructure – Albawaba.com