Syria on Monday called on Arab countries to invest in the war-torn nation, now again a member of the Arab League. The appeal from Syria’s economy and trade minister came during an economic conference in Saudi Arabia ahead of a league summit in the kingdom.
The 22-member Arab League agreed earlier this month to reinstate Syria, ending a 12-year suspension and taking another step toward bringing Syrian President Bashar Assad, a long-time regional pariah, back into the fold.
However, crippling Western sanctions against Assad’s government remain in place and could prevent oil-rich Arab countries from rushing to invest in Syria — or lead to a quick release of reconstruction funds in the war-battered country.
“We invite you to participate in investing in Syria, where there are important opportunities and promising horizons,” said the Syrian minister, Mohammed Samer al-Khalil, as he addressed the opening session of the conference Monday in Jeddah.
Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan also spoke, welcoming Syria’s return to the Arab League and saying he looked forward to working together “to achieve what we aim for.”
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