A CONFIDENT ASSAD MOVES TO CREATE DIRECT CRIMEA-SYRIA AIRLINE ROUTE

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On Tuesday, the Crimean delegation discussed with Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Arab Republic’s regular airline establishment with the peninsula and organized business missions, said the co-chair of the Yalta Economic Forum, Andrei Nazarov.

Assad met in Damascus with the Crimea delegation on Tuesday, this being the first international flight made by the Crimean delegation.

“We say we need to create a mechanism to make it possible to fly directly from Syria to the Crimea and more, however, the Syrian president does not divide the concepts of culture and tourism. He said that culture enriches and that tourism and culture need to move forward in parallel,” Nazarov told reporters.

Nazarov pointed out that Bashar Assad also suggested organizing business missions so that people from both Crimea and all of Russia could go peacefully to Syria, adding that the Arab country has many spheres of work and businessmen interested in Russia.

Assad stressed the need to regularize visits by Syrian delegations to the Yalta Economic Forum, Nazarov said.

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The Crimean delegation arrived in Damascus on Monday for a two-day visit to negotiate and sign an agreement on economic and technical-scientific cooperation.

Crimea has been under Western sanctions since it was annexed from Ukraine by Russia in 2014. Syria is also subject to European Union and U.S. sanctions.

The Russian agencies cited members of a Crimean delegation visiting Syria this week, which includes the Moscow-backed prime minister of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov.

Syrian state news agency SANA said Syrian and Crimean officials had agreed to create a Syrian Trading House in Crimea and a joint maritime transport company. They also agreed to facilitate financial and banking measures.

“Crimea is the nearest Black Sea port and therefore can play an important role in the bilateral trade between Syria and Crimea, and between Syria, Crimea and Russia,” SANA reported, quoting a statement by Syrian Economy Minister Samer Khalil.

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