DAMASCUS (Dispatches) – Syrian President Bashar Assad has expressed confidence that Damascus will be able to overcome the impacts of the West’s economic blockade and restore the country’s industrial base.
“Indeed, we have the capabilities to overcome obstacles. We have real capabilities to bypass the siege, mitigate its effects, and create more job opportunities in Syria,” Assad said during a tour of the Adra Industrial City in the Damascus countryside.
After touring factories and speaking to workers and managers, Assad told reporters that the city, “which has been on the front line between the army and the terrorists for many years, has survived… My visit today aims to stress the priority of the economy in the upcoming stage and how to overcome the obstacles facing the productive sector in general in Syria.”
The president added that although he was not surprised by the scale of economic activity in the city, because he keeps abreast of economic affairs, the visit served as an important morale booster, demonstrating “the real capabilities of the Syrian industry, which has survived.”
The president stressed that the country needed investment, strong will and the patriotic sense for reconstruction.
“These three basic factors give momentum to many investors to establish industries in different areas, investments or productive facilities in other areas in Syria.”
More than a third of Syria’s infrastructure has been destroyed or damaged due to the militancy over the past years. This includes significant damage to more than a third of the housing stock and half of health and education facilities.
The European Union and the U.S. along with their Middle Eastern allies are viewed as the main sponsors of the militant groups and notorious terrorist outfits operating, since early 2011, to overthrow the government in Damascus.
The EU and U.S. have imposed a host of unilateral economic sanctions on the Arab nation over the past decade in what appears to be an attempt to deny the Damascus government of its financial resources and hamper its fight against the terror groups they have been supporting.
Damascus has also been critical of the United Nations for keeping silent on the destructive role of the U.S. and EU, among other parties supporting terrorism in Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has once again slammed the unlawful presence of the United States in Syria, saying the U.S. forces continue to plunder the Arab country’s wealth extensively to support militants.
“Every time, we affirm the illegitimacy and unlawfulness of the U.S. presence on the Syrian territories, which is accompanied with plundering the natural resources such as the oil fields and agricultural crops,” Lavrov said while addressing the Primakov Readings Forum on Wednesday, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.
He added that the occupying U.S. troops use the money from its lootings to support separatist movements on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, referring the Washington-allied Kurdish militants.