January 24, 2014

The Interim Finance Minister: 15 Billion Dollars Iranian Support to Assad

The Interim Finance Minister: 15 Billion Dollars Iranian Support to Assad

Alarabiya – January 20, 2014

The Syrian Minister of Finance and Economy in the Syrian interim government, Ibrahim Miro, has called upon the friends of the Syrian people to provide further financial support, alluding to the support of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to the Syrian people, and pointing out that the estimates of the cost of the reconstruction of Syria is about 100 billion dollars.

In an interview with Al-Hayat newspaper, he confirmed that the interim government’s priority is to provide the basic services to some areas, and announced estimates indicating that Iran has supported the regime by about 15 billion dollars.

Miro stated, “GCC countries did not let down in assistance and in help the Syrian people. We hope from now on that the financial support will be through a single channel, which is the Syrian interim government.”

The International Conference of Donors for supporting the humanitarian situation in Syria, which was held in Kuwait the day before yesterday, has committed about 2.4 billion dollars.

The Minister of Finance indicated that the Syrian interim government has prepared, before the beginning of the new year, the accounts of the budget of the year 2014, and the amounts needed to provide services for about four and five million people. He also added “We need 1.9 billion dollars per year, as we talk about the budget with a monthly operating cost of 150 million dollars, as well as the budget of the Ministry of Defense, which is not disclosed for strategic reasons, and this operating budget is considered in the range of 20 percent of Syria’s budget in 2010.”

As for the way of setting the interim government’s budget for this year, he stated, “We adopted the Syrian budget’s numbers of the year 2010, which was audited by the International Monetary Fund. We do not trust the numbers stated in the budgets of the years 2011, 2012, and 2013, and if we wanted to provide services for 20 percent of the Syrians and run some of the ministries, we would need 200 million dollars per month”.

In response to a question about the estimates of the cost of the reconstruction of Syria, he said, “We are not a reconstruction government, this needs political, security, and military stability, and we cannot build a hospital because the regime would destroy it. Our preliminary estimates indicate that the cost of rebuilding exceeds 100 billion dollars, but we do not have accurate figures, and the magnitude of destruction needs a huge team to monitor the reconstruction funds.”

He added, “The friends of Bashar’s regime do not need bureaucracy to provide support to him, and they gave him billions of dollars, and the Iranian regime has given more than 15 billion dollars.”

(This article is translated from Arabic)

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