President al-Assad: Supporting production is the most important way to face blockade

Priority should be given to agriculture 

Syrian media has made great strides under difficult conditions


Damascus (ST): The new cabinet ministers headed by eng. Hussein Arnous, were sworn in before President Bashar al-Assad.

Presiding over the meeting after the swearing in ceremony, President al-Assad welcomed the new government team, saying “the new government means new members with new ideas and old members with renewable ideas which means reformulation with more developed and more active ways through reviewing visions, strategies and developing mechanisms of implementation, noting that the importance of the review does not only lie in development but in benefiting from previous lessons as these lessons with their negative and positive points can help the official and the establishment to precede surprises, especially under the current circumstances.

His Excellency said that the government should put clear priorities that must meet the needs of citizens.


Right Government lies in good administration

President Al-Assad said that the first important point in the priorities is the project of the administrative reform which was  announced  three years ago, and it is axiomatic that the right governance  or establishment lies in good administration.

The President affirmed that it is impossible to have bad administration and right governance  and anything we do without systematic administration will be incomplete, unstable and temporary ,stressing that if good laws were issued and if there were successful  policies put by the government , but there was no good administration  to accomplish these policies and implement those laws, there is no value for  the policies and laws. "The same  goes for human resources. We usually   talk a lot about the availability of  human resources and say that we have qualifications ,so why we do not use them  , this is a good talk, but it is meaningless without a program which should be put by the government to achieve justice among employees in state establishments.The President clarified that there is an important point for the project of administrative reform which is preventing crossing among establishments  and laws inside the establishments.

"Coordination is not a mood or a personal trait for the official. Rather, it  is a clear mechanism inside institutions. When there is contradiction in capacities and when there is contradiction in laws, the talk about coordination becomes just a meaningless slogan and the program of administrative reform aims to correct all these things in order to get the best results,” the President said, adding that the program of administrative reform aims to correct all defects and we have to support the project of administrative development because it is basic for the development and successof the Syrian state with its all establishments.


Combatting corruption means an honest official who combats corruption 

Concerning  combating  corruption, President al-Assad  said that the Syrian establishments  have shown during the past period an anti-corruption policy. This policy was not mere mottos or propaganda, noting that what has been achieved in the battle against corruption is very important, but it does not mean that it is enough and does not mean that we have achieved many stages because corruption is still there.  “I don’t want my word to be understood as that the majority of  society is corrupt because this is  illogical,  the majority is always good but the  few corrupt are the ones that are overpowering .They have the power and the ability to affect. What we have started in the state needs  intensified efforts in the future more than what have been done in the past. When we combat corruption, we have to exert more effort,"

On the contrary, the largest  part of corruption can be prosecuted through the laws,  the president added, stressing that the most important point for the laws is exceptions, so what is required from every minister is to return to the laws of his/her ministry.  Of course, in Syria, we have hundreds or thousands of laws, but there are basic laws that directly touch citizens and we must start with them and put guidelines and criteria for these exceptions to avoid chaos and injustice.

His Excellency went on to say that  that the other point in corruption is the issue of the judiciary.  People always talk about the issue of the judiciary because it plays the role of arbiter and when the institutions take measure to combat corruption, they do not play the role of the judge, and any defect  in judiciary, its impact will very dangerous  and exceed any other institutions.  In this framework, the main role of the Higher Judicial Council should be taken through tightening penalties when there is a violation of the judicial rules or any damage to people's interests.

President Al-Assad said: “If the judiciary is the basis for fighting corruption, then the beginning is from you, from the institutions. Fighting corruption does not only mean that the official will be honest, but rather he/ she has to be honest and combat corruption. In the end, the battle against corruption must be comprehensive and, of course, through media. The role of media is very important, especially in investigative issues. I am here talking about the traditional media and the professional electronic media. It is necessary to encourage traditional and electronic media to follow up corruption issues.

We need flexible projects to achieve speedy objectives

Regarding programs and mechanisms, the President said: " In my recent speech before the People's Assembly, I proposed the issue of programs, or more accurately projects.  We need a mechanism to achieve coordination between the different establishments and mechanisms. As long as we are talking about priorities, these priorities mean that we need specific sectors to achieve rapid progress and great results at some point. So the program gathers all these parties in one place in order to provide this service and make a big jump forward, one of the examples is the ” Homeland Wounded “project. At the beginning, the objective of the project was only to give the financial rights of every wounded, but later it moved to medical issues. At the beginning, the Ministry of Defence was responsible for the project and it expanded later to include several medical bodies. Recently the project took a developmental course and there are financial bodies that started to give microfinance for the wounded who carried out projects, some of which are agricultural.

Priority should be given to agriculture

Concerning production, the President said that the most important way to face the blockade is to support the production in general, but it is axiomatic that agriculture comes first in Syria in this domain, because the Syrian society is agricultural since thousands of years and there accumulative experience in the agricultural sector, the adding that the infrastructure is available and the environment is agricultural which means that we can achieve a lot of job opportunities in a very short time and at the same time we can achieve the food safety, and this means securing the most important factor of the steadfastness.

He pointed out that  what is required in this regard is to give priority to the agricultural sector, and the ministries concerned have to cooperate for pushing this sector forward as soon as possible, so it’s necessary in this domain to offer support to all industries that back the agriculture, part of these industries might be food or the requirements of production.

Concerning the production in general, we have to focus on supporting every industry or service that increases the additional value of the national product, thus it consolidates self -reliance, the President affirmed, saying that by adopting this strategy, we advocate the culture of self-dependency instead of depending on the other and the culture of production rather than the that of consumption which was prevalent before the war. 

His Excellency  considered that the other important sector is the information technology  sector as it doesn’t need a lot of imported raw material, because the basic raw material here is the mind, the youth and creative mind. He added that the development and creativity doors in this segment are open without any limits and they won’t be affected by the blockade. If this sector develops, all other sectors will be developed in parallel with its development, adding that it is very important to change this sector into a strategic one, because it is capable to create many job opportunities.

Another important point mentioned by President al-Assad is the electronic payment. He said  that if we think of headlines such as transparency, tax avoidance, corruption, the strength of the Syrian pound and other topics, they all put us in front of the electronic payment that contributes to strengthening the Syrian pound through transferring this pound from the random channel to the organized one inside the banks. This creates an obligatory transparency in the state's establishment, especially the financial ones which is able  to know the movement money and expenditure in Syria.

Syrian media has achieved great strides under difficult conditions

Regarding the Syrian media, President al-Assad said that it has made great strides under  difficult conditions, adding the media should continue to follow up defects without any hesitation and the duty of officials is to respond, whether through an interview or through a statement, affirming that  it is necessary to expand the circle of dialogue whether with citizens, specialists or  officials and this  this advances the level of dialogue and knowledge, as well this increases our capability in the Syrian society to find solutions to the problems with a widened vision instead of a narrow one.

The President added that the government has to support media to take its effective role and make it a success , pointing out that when when we use the official media  conveys the true and confidential information, we make media an authentic reference of information and by this way, we eliminate the chaos of the internet.

President al-Assad said that the basic element of success for any official is faith. " Don't be afraid of mistakes, because mistakes are part of the human nature. We all know that the one  who works commits mistakes and the one who does not work does not commit mistakes. The citizens will tolerate mistakes when they know that the official is faithful and is working towards correcting the mistake." The President said.

At the end of the meeting, President al-Assad said that undoubtedly, the blockade has its impact, but this impact is not absolute as it influences certain sectors more than other sectors and we have to move forward in the sectors in which its impact is less.