Syria and Russia are to expand their economic cooperation in a range of fields and to encourage investment, the official SANA news agency reported Sunday.
Russian Industry Minister Alexander Dondukov agreed in a meeting with Syrian Economy Minister Mohammed al-Imadi to increase cooperation in the area of oil and gas, and to build joint factories making cement, phosphate, pesticides, fertiliser and silicon products in Syria, the agency said.
The two ministers also agreed to draft agreements to encourage investment, and another on road transport, with the aim of signing them before the end of the year.
Dondukov met his Syrian counterpart Ahmed Hamo Saturday evening and expressed their intention to revitalise certain industries in Syria, in particular silicon, paper and textiles.
They agreed to study Syrian proposals on the issue, SANA said.
In a meeting Sunday with Syrian Finance Minister Khaled al-Mahayni, the two sides signed an agreement on double taxation.
Russian diplomatic sources said a meeting of the joint Syrian-Russian economic cooperation committee would be held by the end of the year, chaired by Dondukov and Imadi.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met Dondukov Saturday, and expressed his appreciation of "all Russian
efforts towards a fair and lasting peace in the (Middle East) region," Assad's spokesman said.
The two also discussed "bilateral cooperation and developing relations in the light of the traditional ties that have linked the two countries for more than half a century."
Syria was the main Middle East ally of the former Soviet Union. Dondukov is to leave Syria Monday. – (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )