Turkey – Syria Trade to Reach $5 Billion in 5 Years, Insha’allah: Hamshou Hit

Tuzmen: Turkey to open another border gate with Syria
The New Anatolian / Ankara
14 November 2007

Turkish State Minister Kursad Tuzmen said Tuesday that the sector that deserves priority in Turkish-Syrian relations is transportation and explained that Turkey aims to boost annual trade volume with Syria to 5 billion U.S. dollars during the next five years.

Tuzmen and Syrian Economy & Trade Minister Amir Husni Lutfi attended the first term meeting of Turkey-Syria Partnership Council in southern province of Mersin.

Speaking at the "Turkish-Syrian Business Forum" Tuzmen indicated that "a new border pass will be opened at Nusaybin/Kamisli at the Turkish-Syrian border."

Meanwhile, Syrian Economy and Trade Minister Amir Husni Lutfi said: "We are working to create a region full of peace and stability. Turkish-Syrian relations are important for the regional peace. We appreciate minister Tuzmen's efforts to develop Turkish-Syrian relations."

Turkey, Syria Said Rediscovered Bilateral Tie
BBC Monitor Euro:
2007-11-14 08:47 (New York)
Text of report in English by Turkish news agency Anatolia


MERSIN (A.A) -13.11.2007 -Turkish State Minister Kursad Tuzmen said Tuesday that "if income per capita rises, we can contribute to global peace."

Tuzmen and Syrian Economy and Trade Minister Amir Husni Lutfi held a joint press conference following the "Turkish-Syrian Business Forum" in southern province of Mersin on Tuesday.

"Syrian-Turkish relations are viewed by Turkey as a regional development model. We have language, religious, cultural, geographic and historical ties with Syria. No matter what some circles do to block our relations, we have ties of brotherhood with the Syrians. We are two countries that have rediscovered ties in the 21st century. If income per capita rises (in the region), this would contribute to global peace," Tuzmen noted.

Meanwhile, Lutfi made a call to all Turkish entrepreneurs to come and invest in Syria.

The following story in Arabic from Syria-News says the Muhammad Hamshou, a very big-deal Sunni businessman, who was close to Bashar has had his money impounded. All I know about Hamshou is that he imported Apple Computers and Seadoo jet skis. He was frequently included in restaurant outings with Bashar in the 1990s. He is shy. His wife wears the hijab, but is liberal and shakes hands with men. Mudar Asad, the son of Rifaat, imported Yamaha jet skis so there was a friendly rivalry between him and Hamshou, the Seadoo importer. One day Hafiz Makhlouf, Rami's brother, who has recently been slapped with a US financial freeze for being a diplomatic channel between Nasrallah and Bashar, hurt his shoulder in a crash on his Yamaha. Rami and the others all laid into Mudar for selling crappy Yamaha jet skis. (We will try to find out more scuttlebutt on Hamshou and why he has fallen out with the government.

Addendum: Hamshou Industries has a 20% interest in a new Syrian-Iranian car-parts factory being build near Homs in Hessya, the official daily Tishreen reported on July 9.

The factory, the second of its kind in Syria, will have an annual production capacity of 15,000 cars and a preliminary cost of USD 50m. The project, which will be governed by investment Law No. 10 and its amendments, will be carried out by the Iranian Sigico Car Company and the Syrian Hamshou Trade Company. The latter contributes 20 percent to the project. The factory will initially assemble spare parts. It is expected to move to full local manufacture of all car parts by 2008.

“The project is a turning point in Syria’s industry,” Industry Minister Fouad Issa al-Jouni said. “The ministry supports all joint enterprises which contribute to the enhancement of Syrian-Iranian ties in different domains. The strong Syrian-Iranian ties must be embodied in projects that serve the policies and economies of both countries.”

In March, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad inaugurated the first Syrian-Iranian joint car manufacturing plant Siamco in Adra near Damascus.

About two years ago, it was rumored that Hamshou was buying land in Tadmour. Rami Makhlouf was also said to be buying land in large quantities there in order to build a large resort and hotel complex.

  الحجز على اموال عضو في البرلمان السوري

أصدر الدكتور محمد الحسين وزير المالية السوري 19 قرارا بالحجز الاحتياطي على الاموال المنقولة وغير المنقولة لعدد من رجال الأعمال من بينهم رجل الأعمال وعضو البرلمان السوري محمد حمشو.

والغريب ان يكون قرار وزير المالية بالحجز بناء على اقتراح مديرية الجمارك العامة الا ان مدير الجمارك العامة نبيل السيوري العائد من رحلة عمل قال للصحافيين السوريين لدى الاصرار على سؤاله انه لايمكن التعليق على موضوع ليس مطلعاً عليه بعد ، والغريب ايضا ان تذكر الصحيفة بعض اسماء المحجوز على اموالهم بالرموز الاولى وبعض الاسماء بشكل كامل . وقالت مصادر سورية تحدثت اليها ايلاف انها شاهدت العديد من قرارات الحجز بحق رجال اعمال سوريين معروفين ومسؤولين كبار وابناءهم الا انها لم تطبق .

وأكدت صحيفة "تشرين" السورية الرسمية أن وزير المالية أصدر 19 قرار بالحجز الاحتياطي ذوات الأرقام 946/947/948/972/973/ تاريخ 31 /10 و/1/11/2007, وذلك على الأموال المنقولة وغير المنقولة العائدة للمخالفين وأزواجهم وهم:

2- جون إيكون بوبث مدير ما وراء البحار في الشركة المذكورة
3- محمد حمشو بن صابر
4- م . م
5- م .ح

Canadian Named to Head UN's Hariri Probe
By ALEXANDRA OLSON – 10 hours ago

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. chief has appointed a former Canadian prosecutor to head a commission investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri, according to a letter to the Security Council released Tuesday.

Daniel Bellemare replaced Belgian lawyer Serge Brammertz, who was nominated to head the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in the Hague. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made both announcements in two letters to the Security Council, which must approve the Brammertz appointment.

Columnist: 'When did we become like Syria?'

Arar's counsel argued that although the torture may have happened in Syria, the conspiracy by U.S. officials that allowed it to happen occurred here. Their actions, counsel argued, violated U.S. laws and the Constitution." 

So as I sat in the New York courtroom on Friday, a room with a rich mahogany interior, I was perplexed and saddened. Being Syrian-American, I had always borne the stigma and burden of the strained relationship between the U.S. and Syria, of having grandparents and roots (very proud roots) from an "evil" country. Now, Syria and the U.S. were in cahoots, finally getting along — at least when it came to torture.

Syrian language school draws the devout and the secular

The two drastically different pools of students intersect at the secular Arabic Teaching Institute for Non-Arabic Speakers, tucked away on a back street behind a row of embassies in Mezze, a modern neighborhood.

Comments (9)

ugarit said:

“Still, his 300 students have to contend with the Syrian state’s arcane bureaucracy, which requires students before they register to run a gamut that includes an AIDS test, medical exam and registration at a bank.” — http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/14/world/middleeast/14syria.html?ref=world

Certainly Syria has an arcane bureaucracy but this is not one of them. Foreign students attending US universities have to go through very similar “arcane bureaucracy”.

November 14th, 2007, 6:44 pm


ausamaa said:

Thank you Mr. Bush, both, you and your neo-cons and the EU as well, for you have succeeded in few years in expediting a neccessary process which both Turks and Arabs have been too slow to launch and push forward.

November 14th, 2007, 7:51 pm


Findalaawi said:

Ahhh yes… the Ma’had! I am a proud alum, but from the early nineties, when it was the only game in town for foreigners to learn Arabic (non-Qur’anic) with an Iqamah. On my last trip back, it was no surprise to see that the socialist-white and grey campus had changed little, save for a slight name change and a bigger picture change.

Still – I have good memories. It was a great place to mix with people from other cultures; and there were a few teachers who gave a damn. I certainly learned Arabic better than I would have had I gone somewhere with a higher penetration of Western culture, like Egypt or Jordan.

In any case, the competition from other language institutes is likely driving the upgrade at the Ma’had. Let’s see if it happens…

November 14th, 2007, 7:59 pm


ausamaa said:

BTW, what is the matter with this Hariri International Tribunal? Why does everyone who gets assigned to it return home quickly, retire early, or get asigned to other posts? Not mere coencidences are they?

Is the Truth about what happened then that difficult to prove (even Dubbya had figured it out from the first day). or is the Truth too scary?

November 14th, 2007, 8:01 pm


EHSANI2 said:

Dr. Landis,


When you click on “words from CEO” on the link above, you will have the pleasure of seeing Mr. Hamsho’s picture. Remarkable achievement for a 41-year old man. His latest project is a $200 million cement plant. The range of activities of the group puts GE to shame.

November 15th, 2007, 12:13 am


fadal said:

hamsho is only an example of the neobiz group starting to spread in syria since 1990s. is he really a biz man? of course no. can a real bizman live and trade fairly in syria? of course no. can you convince foreigners about that? of course no.

November 15th, 2007, 10:41 am


t_desco said:

Report: Al-Qaeda planned hit on Hizbullah chief

Lebanon’s As-Safir newspaper reports of ongoing investigation against three al-Qaeda cells in Lebanon. Cells involved in assassination attempt against Hizbullah’ Hassan Nasrallah, attacks of UNIFIL forces

Published: 11.15.07

An al-Qaeda cell tried to assassinate Hizbullah Secretary-General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah last summer, the Lebanese, Arab-language newspaper As-Safir reported Thursday.

According to the report, the Lebanese security services are currently conducting a vast investigation into al-Qaeda’s activities in Lebanon. Several al-Qaeda cell members have been arrested, and have admitted – among other things – to firing Katyusha rockets at Israel on several occasions.

The cells are also investigated in connection with a conspiracy to attack UNIFIL forces in southern Lebanon. The attack, which failed to materialize, was meant to look link the Hizbullah’s handiwork, deterioration further the fragile relations between the two.

Lebanese security services, said As-Safir, have uncovered three al-Qaeda cells operating in southern Lebanon. Search and seizure operation in the region further uncovered some 150 pounds of cyanide and other chemicals used to make explosive devices; several hundred pounds of explosive, said the report, have already been shipped back to Iraq.

The American embassy in Beirut, added the report, has filed an official request with the Lebanese security services, asking it be made privy to the investigation reports, in order to determine if the explosives sent to Iraq were meant to target US Forces in the country.

November 15th, 2007, 10:44 am


Ahmad said:

Oh yes…..Ma’had, going through a couple of days of registration and blood tests is worth it for a 6 mth Iqameh no??? The person that wrote this tedious article is obviously Yank, German or Brit….always whining about Syrian life, just go home and compare the prices, registration queing time etc there……man always gotta put a downer on Syria somehow.
Ma’Had is the best institute there is in Syria, Arabic is totally drummed into yr skull and English is hardly ever heard or spoken on campus…..in 2 words, it rulz.

November 15th, 2007, 5:45 pm


Syria » Blog Archives » Turkey - Syria Trade to Reach $5 Billion in 5 Years, Insha’allah said:

[…] Turkey – Syria Trade to Reach $5 Billion in 5 Years, Insha’allahTuzmen and Syrian Economy and Trade Minister Amir Husni Lutfi held a joint press conference following the “Turkish-Syrian Business Forum” in southern province of Mersin on Tuesday. “Syrian-Turkish relations are viewed by Turkey as a … […]

November 29th, 2007, 11:29 pm


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