The Reconstruction of Syria

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Photo Credit: Anadolu
Photo Credit: Anadolu

By: Francesc Casadó | Source: Rebelión | The Dawn News | December, 28, 2016.

Liberating the city of Aleppo from the Islamic State has been a decisive step towards the outcome of the Syrian civil war, or at least to start rebuilding the already pacified areas.

In October Vladimir Putin posed to the international community the need to end belligerent rhetoric and develop a long-term program, similar to the Marshall Plan of the 1950s, to restore those nations of the Middle East that have been hit by armed conflict. After World War II, the United States decided to clean up the ill-fated economy of capitalist Europe through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (now the World Bank).

Foreign investments in Syrian territory could facilitate a truce between Sunnis and Shiites, however, the Arab Republic does not have the approval of the international community. Since the fighting began in 2011, the government of Damascus has been fined to force the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad. The measures imposed by the European Union and the United States mean the blockade of financial transactions and the oil embargo, measures that have plunged the country into misery.

Syria needs the sanctions to be lifted in order to start building the damaged infrastructure of its city. The investment would have an estimated cost of 350,000 million dollars, its main objective would be to rebuild the electricity network and 60% of the oil plants now inactive.

Abdullah Dardari, a former deputy prime minister of the Syrian economy, recently told “I think there are enough resources and space to satisfy the economic interests of the US, Russia, regional actors and, most importantly, the people themselves” . But Dardari has been accused in his country of promoting a policy favorable to the West under the pretext of managing an aid program from his position at the UN.

So, what kind of economic support will Syria have from other countries? Before the start of the civil war, Damascus maintained important financial ties with Arab nations that have been accused of supporting the Islamic State. In particular with business groups in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, it received substantial investment from Qatar and even did business with the Saudi holding company owned by the bin Laden family.

Among the current active forces in the conflict that form the coalition pro-syria Iran economically highlights. The Persian nation owns an important state-owned sovereign fund obtained by the sale of hydrocarbons, revenues that have the purpose of being able to be invested abroad.

Russia, on its part, is negotiating with Syrian Prime Minister Wael Al-Halqi several important agreements: the provision of $ 960 million for the reconstruction of infrastructure; The possibility of creating a bank that would be under the control of both countries; And even incorporating the Arab Republic into the Eurasian Economic Union. The UEE is a political integration project based on the Russian Customs Union with former Soviet republics and expandable to other nations.

In a globalized world that stands out for a new multipolar governance order, the failure of US-led neo-colonial plans could allow the Middle East to choose emerging countries as new partners.

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