Ghassan Al Rifai, Syria's newly appointed minister of economy arrived in Damascus earlier in the week, after a thirty year journey in the World Bank. According to the Bank's press release, Ghassan El-Rifai joined the World Bank in 1972 through the Young Professionals Program.

Iraq and Syria agreed on Friday to invest in joint industrial ventures in a further improvement of ties after years of tension, the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) said.
A Damascus meeting next week, will discuss Cyprus' future energy needs with both Syria and Egypt, its prospective suppliers of gas, Cyprus energy minister said.

By Mouaffaq Nyrabia *

Within the scope of the program of the Danish Foreign Ministry (DFM) to promote reform in the Middle East, the Danish Cultural Institute in Syria organized recently a seminar in Damascus. A number of Danish scholars and representatives from the DFM participated in the event, as did scholars from Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Egypt. No official representative from any Arab government was present.


The Foreign Ministry summoned on Wednesday the US Charge d’Affaires in Damascus, following the boarding and inspection of two Syrian ships by the US.Sixth Fleet.

The Syrian cabinet has decided to allow private radio stations to operate for the first time, although with strict limits on what they may broadcast.

Britain was set to challenge Syria at the U.N. Security Council's Iraqi sanctions committee on Monday night, raising the issue of the Iraqi oil Damascus is said to be buying.


Syria on Friday denied British accusations that it is importing smuggled Iraqi oil in contravention of U.N. sanctions, U.N. diplomats said.