Damascus to hold major trade fair amid U.S. calls of boycott

Tens of companies from 38 Arab and foreign companies are participating in the Damascus International Trade Fair that will open in Damascus on Wednesday.

It’s the 61st round of the fair, which is the Syrian economy’s window to the world.

The fair was suspended after the war began in 2011 and resumed in 2017. The aim of the fair during the last couple of years was to encourage foreign investments to involve in Syria’s reconstruction.

The state news agency SANA said in a report that holding the new round of the fair is a message of victory sent by Syria to the world “against all attempts of isolating and besieging” the country.

It said the Syrian government will continue to build and reconstruct by the hands of the Syrians.

A total of 500 companies will take part in the fair this year, according to SANA.

The fair comes this year amid U.S. threats of imposing sanctions on the companies that take part in the fair.

On Aug. 22, U.S. embassy in Damascus posted calls on its social networking platforms for boycotting the fair and threatened sanctions against the companies that take part in Damascus’ trade fair.

It’s worth noting that the U.S. has tightened the sanctions on Syria recently, especially against the fuel exports to Syria.

However, the Syrian government has repeatedly stressed that it will turn to friendly countries to overcome the negative impacts of the sanctions, which it says are “unfair and target the livelihood of the Syrians.”

Syria’s Presidential Advisor Buthaina Shaaban was cited by SANA as saying that the unilateral U.S. sanctions on Syria are “illegitimate and lack international credibility.”

She also condemned the U.S. threats of sanctions against the companies that take part in the Damascus trade fair.

Samer Khalil, the Syrian economy minister, was cited by the pro-government al-Watan newspaper as saying that all preparations are done regarding the opening of the fair, adding that there is an increase in the number of local companies taking part in the fair.

The fair this year also comes as the Syrian army is fighting the rebel groups in their last major stronghold in the northwestern province of Idlib.

The Syrian army has made notable progress in the battles, capturing key areas from the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front in the southern countryside of Idlib.

The Syrian army and government officials repeatedly stressed that all Syrian areas will be liberated from the rebel groups.