Railway agreement, Syrian- Iraqi joint projects; Ramadan: UN inspector will not pacify US war threats
Syria-Iraq, Politics, 8/30/2002
Meetings of the Syrian- Iraqi joint higher committee were concluded yesterday by signing several economic agreements and joint projects and they stressed on political stances between the two states towards commitment to the Beirut summit initiative, a call on the US to give up the policy of siding with Israel, rejecting interference in the internal affairs of Iraq as well as noting the need of continued dialogue between Iraq and the UN, according to a statement issued by the Syrian cabinet on Thursday.
The statements stressed the two states' rejection to launch and aggression against Iraq. It considered any aggression against one Arab state as "an aggression against the Arab nation and a threat to the Arab national security and this requires a firm stand before these threats." The statement recalled the efforts made in order to "reach an agreement concerning the case between Iraq and Kuwait and to respond to these efforts." The two sides expressed hope that such a response will close the file of the past for every country into "maintaining sovereignty on its territories, non interference in its internal affairs, guaranteeing its security and solving all pending issues between the two countries through dialogue." The two sides signed a series of trade agreements, including the foundation of a joint Syrian- Iraqi company for industries as well as agreements in the fields of industry, trade, the environment and investment protection.
The two states also signed the constituent for implementing and repair of the railways as another agreement on encouraging and protection of investment between the two states and also an agreement in the cultural cooperation area.
The Syrian ministry of the industry Issam al-Zaem stressed that the foundation of the joint Syrian- Iraqi industrial company as a holding company will pave the way for several projects already approved, which are 4 investment projects for chemical fertilizers industry in the Iraqi city of al-Qaem and the glass industry project in Aleppo, Syria.
Worthy mentioning that Syria and Iraq signed by the beginning of 2001 a free trade agreement.
The Iraqi vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan told journalists in Damascus in a pre departure statement that there is "no use" for the return of the UN inspectors to Iraq because the US says the matter relates "to changing the regime by means of force." He added "we take the American threats seriously because we know it is a suppressive ( American ) administration."
Meantime, during their talks in Damascus, the Syrian prime minister renewed Syria's rejection against any military act against Iraq. He called on the "UN, the world and Europe to stand with Iraq and to protect it from aggression by calling for a dialogue with the UN in order to implement UN resolutions and lift the siege imposed on the Iraqi people."
Al-Hayat: Syria and the threat against Iraq, the region
Al-Assad discusses with Ramadan bilateral relations, Arab conditions
Trade exchange between Syria, Iraq
Taha Yassin Ramadan in Damascus to strengthen economic ties
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