Syria bolsters relations with Algeria and steps up rehousing of quake victims

New homes under construction in Aleppo

SYRIA’S Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Firas Kaddour, discussed on Sunday with the Algerian Ambassador to Damascus, Kamel Bouchama, ways to bolster cooperation and relations between Syria and Algeria in the fields of oil, gas and mineral resources.

Both sides have exchanged views on minutes of meetings signed in the Algerian capital last April, and exchanged experiences in the mining field, as well as investment of mineral resources and development of human cadres.
Kaddour thanked Algeria’s leadership and people for supporting Syria in addressing the repercussions of the earthquake, and facing the siege and the terrorist war against the country.
In turn, Bouchama stressed his country’s willingness to develop cooperation with the ‘brotherly country’ of Syria, and expressed confidence in the possibility of creating varied cooperation opportunities.
Also on Sunday, Syria and Algeria discussed the means of developing scientific cooperation and research between the two countries.
This came during a meeting held between algerian Ambassador Bouchama and Syrian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
During the meeting, Dr Ibrahim stressed the importance of developing the scientific and research relations with Algeria and opening new prospects in all areas, particularly in the higher education and scientific research fields.
Minister Ibrahim referred to the necessity of activating and developing the scientific research programme with Algeria, hailing the relations linking the two countries and Algeria’s firm and supportive stance towards Syria and it’s just issues.
For his part, Bouchama stressed that the Syrian-Algerian relations are deep-rooted, firm and principled, noting the necessity of developing cooperation between the higher education and scientific research and the Syrian Universities, particularly following the unjust war against Syria which targets the educational sector and its institutions.
He indicated that the Syrian people’s will and resilience will achieve victory.

  • Local Administration and Environment Minister Hussein Makhlouf said on Sunday that the National Fund for Supporting Quake-Affected People’s priority is to provide support to the owners of houses destroyed by the earthquake, both in urban and rural areas.

Speaking at a press conference of the Board of Directors of the National Fund for Supporting Quake-Affected People on support strategy and priorities for the Fund’s work, Makhlouf noted that for urban houses, SYP 160 million will be allocated to those affected in two payments.
In response to the journalists’ questions, Makhlouf explained that the lack of any of the required documents is what causes the application submitted by those affected to be rejected, but the rejection does not mean that another opportunity will not be available, as support will be offered.
Makhlouf indicated that the initial cost for those affected by the earthquake for categories A and B is an estimated SYP 156 billion.
He said that the announcement of freezing sanctions on Syria was only a formality, and no bank is able to carry out commercial operations to mitigate the repercussions of the earthquake.
For his part, Minister of Public Works and Housing Suhail Abdel Latif said that the owners of rural houses have been given the opportunity to subscribe to urban houses at the Public Housing Foundation.
The minister noted that the work is underway to improving the urban reality in these outlying areas.
He underlined that all the necessary facilities will be provided to implement housing construction.
In response to a question by a Syrian news agency SANA reporter, Minister Abdul Latif said that earthquake-affected people whose homes were in rural areas, or were illegal and located in urban areas are all entitled to subscribe to the Public Corporation for Housing for a new residence in one of the urban areas.
For his part, the director of the fund, Fares Kallas, said that one of the foundations of the participatory fund is to reach a better mechanism for providing support to those affected, and what the fund provides is non-refundable amounts.
Kallas added that the fund will continuously study the material price differences.
He said that international organisations have not provide any financial support, but there are donations that have reached the fund from institutions, individuals and private companies.
‘We have published the fund’s accounts and thank the donors.
‘We are not working with everyone, and we will not be able to provide support unless the various institutions cooperate,’ he said.
‘The economic sanctions have affected the response to the repercussions of the earthquake, and some countries wanted to donate, but the sanctions prevented that.’
Media will be a partner in the national plan to deal with the repercussions of  the quake and we welcome any new ideas, Kallas said.

  • In light of the Turkish occupier’s continued crime against the locals of Hasaka and its cutting off the water from the province after stopping the pumping of water of Allouk water station, donors from Qamishli city on Sunday offered 20 tanks of a capacity of eight cubic metres, loaded with water to the people of the province.

The civil initiatives presented by the local community comes to complete and support the governmental efforts represented in continuing to secure water via tankers by the council of Hasaka city, the General Secretariat of the Governorate, and the Directorate of Social Affairs and Labour.
The Turkish occupier and its mercenaries from the terrorist organisations have cut off drinking water from one million citizens of Hasaka province since November 2nd, 2022, to date, in flagrant violation of all international conventions and norms.

  • The United States-led coalition’s fighter jets and drones violated Syria’s airspace 23 times in one day on Saturday, Vadim Kulit, deputy chief of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria (a division of the Russian defence ministry), said on Sunday.

‘Two pairs of the coalition’s F-16 and two pairs of F-35 fighter jets, as well as two MQ-1C multi-role unmanned aerial vehicles violated Syria’s airspace in the al-Tanf area, across which international air routes run, 23 times during the day,’ he said.
‘Thirteen violations of the deconfliction protocols of December 9th, 2019 linked with the flights by the coalition drones were reported in Syria in the past 24 hours,’ he added.
According to Kulit, such actions provoke air accidents and aggravate the situation in Syria’s airspace.

  • Syria has strongly condemned imposing new sanctions and restrictions on the Republic of Belarus by Western powers and denounced the hostile statements of Western officials in an attempt to interfere in the domestic affairs of Belarus.

‘The measures that Western powers used to impose on every sovereign country, which does not respond to their aims, not only violate the United Nations Charter, international law, and the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of states, but also undermine the stability and development of these states, including Belarus’, the Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
The ministry affirmed that Syria, which suffers from the inhuman effects of such measures, stands by Belarus and stresses full solidarity with it.