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Despite high price of Syrian reconstruction, business, influence opportunities abound

Though Syria's blueprint for reconstruction is ambitious, costly and in some ways at odds with Western priorities, there is some cause for optimism in Damascus' marketing of reconstruction opportunities to friendly states.
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Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad paid a visit to Iran Feb. 25 — his first such trip since the outbreak of the Syria conflict. In Tehran, Assad was promised help with Syria's recovery that Damascus itself estimates will cost an astronomical $250-400 billion.

However, Damascus' blueprint for reconstruction is important. In mid-2017, Damascus produced an ambitious strategy for rebuilding the country, allegedly pre-approved in April by the Central Committee of the Al-Baath Arab Socialist Party. It focuses on economic and social recovery in the face of Western sanctions, giving the green light to companies and businesses from friendly countries to conduct commercial and investment projects, branding reconstruction as a prize for participants with long-term profits and promoting a “destroyer pays” formula, particularly to the Gulf states as sponsors of the main opposition groups.

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