Odile Mojon of the Schiller Institute in France and Ulf Sandmark, chairman of the Schiller Institute in Sweden, were in Syria from Sept. 5-12, where they witnessed the horrendous ravages of the war and attended the International Trade Fair in Damascus. In their discussions and in two live TV interviews with Sandmark on the two leading national stations, they denounced the threat of a U.S, British and French aggression in Syria, triggered by a “false flag” chemical weapons attack, and called for international efforts to help reconstruct the country.
The delegation visited the capital Damascus and the cities of Homs, Aleppo and Palmyra. While the devastation in the former terrorist controlled areas of these cities is shocking, most houses, although not the most severely damaged, are under repair, the rubble has been pushed aside, the destroyed military equipment removed, and reconstruction is ongoing everywhere. Those areas that had remained under government control are fully functioning, with bustling daily activities.
In Palmyra, the Minister of Tourism, Eng. Besher Yashji, was very grateful to be given a copy of the Schiller Institute report Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa, since he has already read and used the Arabic version of the EIR World Land-Bridge report he had received during Sandmark’s last visit.
The delegation was invited by the Ministry of Tourism, along with other international journalists, to visit the 60th Damascus International Trade Fair, which featured Syrian industrial strengths in a broad array of industrial branches. Participants spoke of the war damages inflicted and the machinery looted by terrorists, but also of how they have managed to relaunch production on a 24/7 basis. This year, 48 countries participated in the Fair, many of them old Silk Road nations, with the perspective being to make Syria an important hub of the Belt & Road Initiative.
At the fair, Sandmark participated in a discussion on economic policy which was broadcast live on television. He countered the over-emphasis on foreign investments as a means of raising capital for reconstruction by promoting a national credit system to cover most domestic needs. He also pointed to the need to protect Syrian production, especially farming, as the process of reconquering and repopulating the territories liberated by the Syrian Arab Army moves ahead.