Syria-Iran for boosting Oil Cooperation

TEHRAN, (ST) -Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi, and  Syria's ambassador to Tehran Adnan Mahmoud  discussed during their meeting yesterday the implementation of bilateral oil agreements and  to  ensure the needs to withstand the  blatant economic war against the Syrians.

Minister Qasemi  stressed determination of the Ministry to fulfill the signed  agreements in accordance with the set schedule  and reiterated his country's position in supporting  Syria 's people and government against hostile schemes aiming  at weakening the resistance axis in the region.

He also  stressed that the enemies of Syria will fail in their bets on the economic blockade as they failed in their bets on the military and political fields.

For his part, Ambassador Mahmoud expressed appreciation to Iran positions in support of the Syrian people for the restoration of security and stability and in confronting the  blatant economic war hatched against it.


T. Fateh

Agriculture Ministry: Establishing Modern Olive Orchards

(ST) - The Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform confirmed the importance of preparing a guidance program for the development of olive cultivation for the current agricultural season.

 The program includes  the establishment of modern orchards based on scientific principles,  spreading of new technologies such as water harvesting ,application of integrated management style in combating insects , harvest automation, optimum utilization of waste olives in order to reduce costs and increase production, and providing  necessary agricultural services especially organic and chemical fertilization based on the results of soil analysis.

The ministry asked to cooperate with the Unions of Peasants in the governorates to implement practical measures after harvest at all phases of the production of olive oil from harvesting to the transport of fruits and delivery to the oil press, then the process of extracting oil according to specifications of the International Council of Olive Oil and access to the process of storage under scientific and healthy conditions.

For its part, the Public Authority for Agricultural Scientific Research confirmed that exports of olive oil ranging between 18,000 and 45,000 tons per year, equivalent to 15 to 25% of the production and this percentage constitutes 40% of the available for export. The volume of exports of olive oil during the year 2011 reached about 16,000 tons of olive oil and 4,000 tons of olive, compared to 18,000 tons of oil in 2010 and 13,000 tons of olive.

The cultivated area with olives reached more than 647,000 hectares according to the latest statistics and over 97 million trees, while the production of olives for this season, up to 900,000 tons, 170,000 tons of table olives, and 20% of the production of the country of the olive is used for the table and the rest for the oil. The development of olive cultivation in Syria has enjoyed great interest in all governorates for the last ten years, which enabled the olive tree to occupy the first rank among the fruit trees to represent more than 55% of the total cultivated area.

Syria is ranked the fourth worldwide and the first among Arab countries in the production of olive. This agriculture contributes  between 5 and 9% of the value of agricultural income. More than 95% of the cultivated area of olive tree depends on rainwater. Aleppo and Idleb are the more productive area in olives in Syria, while the number of families working in this sector is about 400,000 families.

Sh. Al -Khatib

Syrian-Iranian Economic Integration Stressed

DAMASCUS,(ST)_ Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Dr. Mohammed  Mhabek discussed with Mohammad Reza Sheibani, Iran's ambassador in Damascus and an accompanying delegation yesterday ways to develop economic relations between the two countries and overcome impeding obstacles.

The minister noted Iran- Syrian development of trade and economic relations and the importance of overcoming obstacles hindering workflow with public institutions and the private s industrial, commercial and agricultural sector.

He also noted the importance of consolidating bilateral relations , in light of the global war experienced by Syria and defying the blockade by countries supporting terrorism through promoting cooperation and open new markets between the two countries.

The Iranian ambassador indicated decisions taken by Iran to support the Syrian people in the economic sphere, including the signing of a free trade agreement, exporting strategic products to Syria and convening an exhibition for Syrian products.

He stressed the need to remove any barrier that hinders the development of economic relations between Syria and Iran, noting the two countries potentials for productive energies in economic, commercial, and industrial areas , as means for their integration.


T. Fateh

Water Cooperation with UNICEF

DAMASCUS, (ST) - A two-day workshop to support water sector, sanitation and hygiene promotion was held here recently in cooperation between the Ministry of Water Resources, UNICEF and the presence of local partners and relevant international organizations.  The participants in the workshop agreed to launch some 15 projects targeting 10 million people at a cost of $ 68 million.

Head of the Organizations' Administration in the Foreign Ministry, Abdul Mun'im Annan, said that the projects focus to ensure the improvement of mechanisms of access to clean water, sanitation especially for children at schools and to improve the reality of shelters allocated for the displaced in places and provinces affected by the situation that prevailed in the country.

"With the emergence of the current crisis, some of the negative effects began to appear gradually in the sector of water and sanitation, these effects resulted mostly from the current crisis to prevent employees of access to their places of work, which led to halt work in this vital service centers or carry out maintenance and repair." Mr. Annan said.

What aggravated the situation of this sector is the economic sanctions imposed on Syria by some states, which led to the suspension of several purification and desalination projects of water, he added.

 These projects are aimed to ensure better access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene for children in schools and displaced people in shelters and affected provinces.

UNICEF, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and several Syrian ministries, such as Water Resources, Local Administration, Environment, Education, Health and Social Affairs as well as several international organizations and non-governmental organizations authorized to conduct business in the humanitarian field in Syria participate in the implementation of these programs.

Through our follow-up of the activity of UNICEF in the last period in the areas of water and sanitation, we noticed the presence of a determined effort by the organization which deserves praise for this action, in cooperation with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the ministries concerned, to provide safe drinking water.

Coordinator of Humanitarian Programs of UNICEF in Syria, Marl Loseh, underlined the commitment of UNICEF to support the sector of water and sanitation and hygiene promotion in Syria. Water, he added,  is an essential element for life and health of children, women and population and that this responsibility is accepted by UNICEF in front of the world humanitarian community, and because water is essential to children's lives and the lives of everyone, we will continue to support you through facilitation and providing leadership and support as needed.

We assume our full responsibility for the implementation of the consequences to us, and also guarantee enable you and each of the actors in responding to play its role in this area, we need to continue to come together to put more effort and provide the best and work with all actors in the response, and cooperation with teams of health, shelter, nutrition and education.

Sh. Al -Khatib

Some 45 Thousand Tons of Grapes in Daraa

DARAA –( ST)-  The Directorate of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform in Daraa estimated the production of grape during this season at about 45 thousand tons compared to 60 tons in the previous seasons.

The Head of Economic Affairs Department of in the governorate Eng. Saleh al-Miqdad said yesterday that the total area planted with grapes of 2720 hectares and the number of trees planted is  2,655 million trees, explaining that the reason for decline in production compared with the previous seasons due to the current conditions and rising the costs of production, fertilizers, pesticides and fuel .

For his part, head of the Department of Agricultural guidance, Eng. Mohamed Shehadat, pointed out the need to follow modern agricultural operations in the cultivation of grapes through the commitment of pruning methods by modern agricultural specialists at appropriate times and dates.

He also clarified the importance of adopting modern irrigation methods in the vineyards to reduce consumption of diesel fuel used to run the engines of artesian wells and follow the scientific program of fertilization and the use of pesticides, according to consulting agricultural specialists.

Sh. Al Khatib