Monday, 19 August 2019

LN: Czech firms hope to sell their goods to Syria after war

21 April 2016

Prague, April 20 (CTK) - Two senior officials of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime arrived in Prague on Wednesday and Czech officials hope that the diplomatic presence of the country in Syria and the humanitarian aid provided will also find expression in the economic sphere, Lidove noviny (LN) writes on Wednesday.

LN writes that the Czech Republic is the sole EU country which has an operable embassy in the war-tormented Syria which also represents the interests of the United States.

It will send five million euros to the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the 'Madad Fund,' which is the third highest sum after Denmark and Austria within the EU.

The two Syrian officials visiting Prague these days are Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad and Ayman Sousan, his colleague who is in charge of European affairs, LN writes.

Mekdad will meet three Czech ministers, Lubomir Zaoralek (foreign affairs), Andrej Babis (finance) and Jan Mladek (industry), LN writes.

It writes that Mekdad will also meet Karel Schwarzenberg, chairman of the foreign committee of the Chamber of Deputies, and Hynek Kmonicek, head of the Presidential Office's foreign department.

He will also have talks with representatives of the Economic Chamber and the Confederation of Industry (SPD), LN writes.

The SPD would like to succeed with the know-how of Czech firms in the reconstruction of Syrian infrastructure, energy and construction industry, LN writes.

"The valuable experience of our experts will definitely be applicable in the removing of environmental burdens or restoration of the damaged cultural heritage," SPD vice-president Radek Spicar told LN.

Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Tlapa said the Czech Republic can succeed in the reconstruction of the equipment supplied in the past as well as in quality offers in the spheres of water management, energy and health care.

However, this requires an improvement in the security situation and the termination of the sanctions imposed against Assad' s regime in 2011, LN writes.

It writes that the decision not to extend the sanctions, which will expire in June, would be a clear signal of that the EU no longer considers Assad an obstacle to a peaceful solution to the bloody conflict, LN writes.

However, Czech firms are rather small players and they will face a strong competition of companies from Russia, Iran or China, and Indian, Croatian and Hungarian firms also have their ambitions in Syria, LN writes.

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