Posted by Joshua on Friday, April 3rd, 2009
The Damascus Stock Exchange traded shares worth over half a million SYP today for the first time. There were eight trades of 667 Shares valued at SYP 578,139 OR $12,500. 3 OF THE 4 companies traded rose by the limit of 2%.
Damascus Journal: Syria Finds Right Ingredients to Start a Stock Market From Scratch
By ROBERT F. WORTH in NYTimes
“It’s a baby that will grow,” said Abdullah Dardari…. Some analysts have even suggested that Syria’s economic challenges will force it to make such a deal. But interviews with Syrian officials here make clear they do not see it that way.
“Syria, no matter how bad the economy, will not bargain,” Mr. Dardari said. “In the 1980s we used to have to queue for Kleenex, but we did not bargain.”
Mr. Dardari and others say the American sanctions have had only a minor effect on Syria, which has little direct trade with the United States. Europe is far more significant, and Syria is eagerly pursuing a trade agreement with the European Union that is likely to be signed this year. Trade with Turkey — perhaps Syria’s closest ally — is also growing, to almost $2 billion in 2008 from less than $500 million in 2004.
Assad: ‘Through war or peace we’ll free Golan’
By BRENDA GAZZAR
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Israeli policies encourage “resistance”, which only ensures that the day will come when Syria will free the Golan Heights “through peace or through war”.
Thu, 02 Apr 2009 14:13:35 GMT
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says all Israeli governments have pursued hawkish policies only to give rise to the philosophy of resistance.
In an interview with the al-Sharq newspaper on Thursday, Assad said there is enough evidence to assume that Tel Aviv will never seek peace.
“All Israeli governments are the same: Ariel Sharon carried out a massacre in Palestine, and [Ehud] Barak aided the war in Gaza in that there is no difference between the right and the left in Israel,” he explained. “This enemy does not want peace.”
Assad described how normal citizens have grown tired of the sixty years of Israeli efforts to grab more land and occupy other territories.
“From the war of Palestine (in 1948) to the occupation of the Golan (in the Six Day War in 1967) people are becoming more hostile towards Israel. There may come a generation that is unwilling to talk peace,” he said.
His remarks are considered a reaction to a Thursday announcement by Israel’s new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman — who ruled out the possibility of Israel withdrawing from the Golan Heights.
“There is no cabinet resolution regarding negotiations with Syria, and we have already said that we will not agree to withdraw from the Golan Heights,” said Lieberman in an interview with Israeli daily Ha’aretz.
“Whoever thinks that he will achieve something by way of concessions – no, he will only invite more pressure and more wars. If you want peace, prepare for war,” he added.
Israel captured the Golan Heights following the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed the Syrian territory in 1981.
Under the auspices of Turkey, Israel and Syria last May launched peace talks aimed at reaching a comprehensive peace agreement.
Negotiations reached a stalemate in September after the resignation of former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert.
Syria then withdrew from the talks in protest at the latest Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip — in late December 2008 and January 2009 — where at least 1,330 Palestinians lost their lives to the three-week carnage.
“When a citizen loses hope – he will turn to the path of resistance, in one from or the other,” Assad reacted to the new Israeli stance.
“What is the alternative?” he asked. “The parallel route to the peace process is resistance. The Israeli will not come by his own will, so there is no alternative but for him to overcome fear.”
“There is no escaping the fact that the day will come when we will free the Golan, through peace or through war,” he explained.
Observer gives us these pronouncements of Avi Lieberman
- In 1998, Lieberman called for the flooding of Egypt by bombing the Aswan Dam in retaliation for Egyptian support for Yasser Arafat.
- In 2001, as Minister of National Infrastructure, Lieberman proposed that the West Bank be divided into four cantons, with no central Palestinian government and no possibility for Palestinians to travel between the cantons.
- In 2002, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth quoted Lieberman in a Cabinet meeting saying that the Palestinians should be given an ultimatum that “At 8am we’ll bomb all the commercial centers … at noon we’ll bomb their gas stations … at two we’ll bomb their banks …”
- In 2003, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Lieberman called for thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel to be drowned in the Dead Sea and offered to provide the buses to take them there.
- In May 2004, Lieberman proposed a plan that called for the transfer of Israeli territory with Palestinian populations to the Palestinian Authority. Likewise, Israel would annex the major Jewish settlement blocs on the Palestinian West Bank. If applied, his plan would strip roughly one-third of Israel’s Palestinian citizens of their citizenship. A “loyalty test” would be applied to those who desired to remain in Israel. This plan to trade territory with the Palestinian Authority is a revision of Lieberman’s earlier calls for the forcible transfer of Palestinian citizens of Israel from their land. Lieberman stated in April 2002 that there was “nothing undemocratic about transfer.”
- Also in May 2004, he said that 90 percent of Israel’s 1.2 million Palestinian citizens would “have to find a new Arab entity” in which to live beyond Israel’s borders. “They have no place here. They can take their bundles and get lost,” he said.
- In May 2006, Lieberman called for the killing of Arab members of Knesset who meet with members of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.’
Turkey and Armenia Pave Way for Historic Accords:Neighbors’ Bid to Open Border and Establish Ties Could Sideline Genocide Dispute, Improve Security for Fuel Pipeline to West. Turkey and Armenia could soon announce a deal aimed at reopening their border and restoring relations, according to diplomats, a move that could help stabilize a region that’s increasingly important as a transit route for oil and gas. The timing of the deal is being choreographed with the schedule of U.S. President Barack Obama, who visits Turkey next week, these people say.
“..Mr Gates said he does not expect Israel – which believes the US estimate for when Iran could develop a nuclear weapon is too sanguine – to take military action this year. “I guess I would say I would be surprised…if they did act this year,” said Mr Gates…”
An international court in the Hague has asked Lebanon to hand over documents relating to the murder of the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri.
The UN-backed tribunal also asked for a list of all suspects Lebanon is holding in connection with the 2005 killings.
The court has been set up to try those suspected of being behind the blast which killed Mr Hariri and 22 others.
The court’s Canadian prosecutor, Daniel Bellemare, has until the end of April to ask the Lebanese authorities for suspects to be transferred to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.He has said he would submit an indictment when satisfied that he had sufficient evidence.
The requests bring the tribunal closer to asking Lebanon to hand over four of the suspects within weeks.
The ruling, issued on Monday but only just made public, asked the Lebanese judicial authorities to “defer to the tribunal’s competence” in the Hariri case, the AFP news agency reported.
It requested that Beirut “as soon as possible and at the latest within 14 days of receiving this order, refer to the prosecutor the results of the investigation and a copy of the court’s records regarding the Hariri case”.
Mr Hariri’s allies have accused Syria of involvement in his death, a charge Damascus denies.
The commander of the Iraqi air force Anwar Ahmad, currently in Washington, said Iraq wants to buy a squadron of F16 fighter aircrafts of the type C/D Block 50/52, currently being assembled for Poland, Israel, Greece and Pakistan. Subject to Parliament’s approval, Iraq would like to eventually buy as many as 96 jets, and to have the first two jets flown by Iraqi pilots by 2012.
General Ahmad said that the jets are required to face the probable dangers from Iran in addition to dangers from Syria which has become “a gateway to terrorists” who seek to undermine the government of prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.