A representative from the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Commerce, strongly connected to Iran, recently participated in an Arab-French Economic Summit organised in Paris. It was the first time since the beginning of the Syrian popular uprising in March 2011 that the French capital hosted a representative from an official Syrian business group.
Over a month after earthquakes devastated northern Syria and southern Turkey, local populations and governments are still reeling from the damages and consequences of the crisis.
Since the earthquake devastated southern Turkey and northern Syria on February 06, government-held areas have witnessed a 30-percent increase in the price of food and other essential commodities, further burdening ordinary Syrians reeling from the natural disaster, deteriorating living conditions, and an acute economic crisis. Meanwhile, the Syrian government has failed to respond adequately, sparking widespread criticism.
Since the devastating earthquakes struck northern Syria and southern Turkey two weeks ago, rapprochement between several Arab countries and the Syrian regime has escalated significantly. Notably, President Bashar Al-Assad visited Oman for the first time in over a decade, a few days after Jordan and Saudi Arabia publicly supported dialogue with Damascus. 
Governments and international organisations worldwide have offered aid and assistance to Syria after the recent earthquake. However, aid response and coordination efforts have been hampered by the destruction of roads and highways, weather conditions, fuel shortages, and territorial fragmentation across regime-opposition political lines, among other things.