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What Happened Over the Weekend

Assad congratulates the new Iranian president while 17 Syrian refugees drowned on their way to Italy. Catch up on everything that happened over the weekend.
What Happened Over the Weekend

President Bashar al-Assad sent a cable of congratulation on Saturday to the newly elected Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, after he won the Iranian presidential election, SANA reported. In the cable, President Assad expressed, on behalf of the Syrian people and his own behalf, heartfelt congratulations to the Iranian President, wishing that God will grant him success in his new responsibilities as he is leading his country’s march towards further prosperity and progress in all fields for the good and interest of the steadfast Iranian people in the face of all schemes and pressures that aim to break their will and undermine their independent decision.

The United Arab Emirates will resume direct flights from Dubai and Sharjah to Damascus beginning June 20th, Syria’s Ministry of Transport announced on Thursday. Syria’s national carrier, Syrian Air, will operate four flights to Dubai and three to Sharjah per week, the ministry said in a statement. The announcement comes as Abu Dhabi and other Gulf governments continue efforts to rehabilitate the Syrian regime’s image. The latter was boycotted by Arab states and regional powers over its brutal repression of peaceful protests in 2011.

Prime Minister, Hussein Arnous, and Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Head of the Iranian-Syrian Joint Economic Committee, Mohammad Eslami, discussed means to enhance cooperation in the fields of economy, investment, trade, transport, construction, infrastructure, and agriculture, and to accelerate the implementation of joint projects in the interest of the two friendly countries and peoples. According to SANA, Eslami affirmed his country’s continuous support for Syria in the phase of reconstruction and economic development.

Syrian-Iranian trade and economic forum debates focused on the most prominent stages of cooperation between the two countries and ways to develop them and overcome the difficulties facing joint trade and economic relations, SANA reported. The forum brought together industrialists, investors, and merchants from the Iranian-Syrian Joint Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Syrian Industrial, Agricultural and Commercial Chambers, and the Iranian Trade Center.

The Syrian Ministry of Health raised the prices of 11,819 medicinal products in response to the warnings of the owners of pharmaceutical factories in Syria, who threatened to stop production if prices were not raised. The business website al-Iqtissadi said the owners of three pharmaceutical factories were not satisfied with the 30% increase in prices, saying the increase should instead be of 100%, in accordance with the demand of the factory owners in a conference held last week in Damascus. The owners of pharmaceutical factories assured that the increase is not enough to help in providing some of the required pharmaceutical items, due to the high production costs.

A delegation of the Iraqi Industry Ministry on Saturday discussed with Chairman and members of Aleppo Chamber of Commerce means to enhance the economic, industry, and trade relations through increasing trade exchange and overcoming obstacles to facilitate movement of transit goods, and approve customs duty exemptions for industrials and traders, in addition to establishing joint expos in the cities and the provinces in Syrian and Iraq. According to SANA, the Iraqi Minister of Industry affirmed the need for promoting the industrial sector in the two countries and increasing exchanges, pointing to the necessity of benefiting from the industrial expertise of Aleppo, and cooperating in the fields of pharmaceutical and textile, leather, veterinary medicines, and agricultural pesticides industries. He expressed willingness to provide the necessary facilitation to increase the commercial flow between the two countries.

On Sunday, 17 Syrians among whom women and children from the Daraa governorate in southern Syria, died after a boat that was taking them from Libya to Italy sank in the Mediterranean, North Press reported. The tragedy occurred on World Refugee Day. It is expected that the number of victims may rise as the boat was carrying more than 20 people, the Violation Documenting Center in North Syria (VDC-NSY) said.

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