Head of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), Abdurrahman Mustafa, on Tuesday talked via video link with Joel Rayburn, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Levant Affairs and Special Envoy for Syria in the US State Department and discussed with him the situation in the liberated areas, especially the efforts to prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus.
The virtual meeting brought together SIG’s Defense Ministers, Major General, Salim Idris, Minister of Local Administration and Services, Muhammad Suleiman, SIG’s Director of Foreign Relations, Yasser Al-Hajji, and Political Chief at the US Syria Transition Assistance Response Team (START) Zahra Bell.
Mustafa said that SIG took several measures to prevent an outbreak of the virus in the liberated areas, most notably closure of crossing points with the regime-held areas, shifting to online education, sustained tests of the suspected cases, the establishment of quarantine centers, sterilization of public facilities, and the launch of awareness-raising campaigns.
He pointed out that SIG developed several service projects in the areas of health, education, security, and the judiciary and is seeking to open new institutions in line with its plans to consolidate civil administration and good governance in the liberated areas. He stressed the need to empower SIG and support the new projects.
The two sides discussed the economic situation in the liberated areas, especially the collapse of the Syrian pound and its impact on citizens. Mustafa pointed to the Assad regime’s attempts to acquire foreign currency from those areas and exploit them with the aim of circumventing the sanctions imposed on it.
The two sides also stressed the need to protect citizens from the fallout of the depreciation of the Syrian pound and the possible ways to mitigate its effects.
For his part, Mr. Rayburn stressed the importance of continued communication and consultations between the two sides, improving security and stability in the liberated areas, and strengthening the relations with SIG. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)