DAMASCUS – Western countries will not participate in the reconstruction of Syria, said the president of the Syrian Arab Republic, Bashar Assad.
“They will not be part of the restoration of Syria, we just will not let them do it. Will they come with money or not? They offer a loan, a donation or grants – anything – we do not need the West. The West is far from the concept of “honesty”: they do not give, they only take,” he said in an interview with the program “The Results of the Week with Irada Zeynalova” on NTV.
As RIA Novosti reports, Assad expressed confidence that the Syrians have enough strength to independently rebuild the country.
“No money – we’ll borrow from our friends, from Syrians living abroad, from our treasury. We are not worried about this. Perhaps the restoration of Syria will take more time, but nevertheless there is no cause for concern, “he said.
Earlier, Iranian President Hasan Rukhani promised Assad assistance in rebuilding Syria after the fighting.
Beijing also sees a double opportunity in the rebuilding this war-torn country. One is to to extend its new Silk Road and OBOR, and also to expand its economic and political influence westward which is only natural given its export economy.
President Xi Jinping’s efforts to build a Silk Road have to deal with Syria’s seven-year civil war, which interferes with development and stability at the crossroads to Eurasia, Africa, and the Middle East. So Beijing has been vying to assure the war-torn country to be first considered for rebuilding, even before the conflict has ceased.
The Syrian government is determined to move ahead with rebuilding without the US, but it will need international help which will come at an estimated $250 billion cost overall. The door is closed to the “Friends of Syria” coalition—notably the United States, Canada, France, and Britain—which have frozen $9.6 billion in pledged funding until a political transition “away from Assad” is on track. In the U.S., the proposed “No Assistance for Assad Act” would have effectively prohibited financial assistance for reconstruction in areas under the control of the Syrian government. That this stands in the face of international law (what international law?) is irrelevant.
Now that Assad has made it clear who is excluded from redevelopment, how Turkey will angle its negotiation will figure prominently. Ideally, Syria will once again govern those lands presently under Turkish military occupation.