SYRIA MAKING NICE
Interesting: Syria to Return $200 Million to Iraqis
Syria plans to return to Iraq $200 million that Saddam Hussein had deposited in Syrian banks, President Bashar al-Assad said Thursday in an interview during a visit to Turkey.
“It’s being worked out,” Mr. Assad said in Istanbul, where he was meeting with businessmen as part of an effort to bolster investor confidence in Syria and open a stock exchange in Damascus.
“It’s a technical issue, not political,” he said.
The interim Iraqi government and the American-led occupation authorities are trying to find money to make up for a shortfall in oil revenues. Mr. Assad declined to comment on how long it might take to return the money or what the technical issues were that needed to be worked out.
Also on the trip, the first official Syrian visit to its neighbor in almost six decades, are the Syrian tourism and foreign ministers.