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Can Russia, Iran, China agree on division of roles in Syria reconstruction?

Moscow, Tehran and Beijing are all vying for a piece of the Syrian reconstruction business, but will they be able to divide their interests civilly, or are they doomed to rivalry?
People ride motorcycles amidst the rubble of damaged buildings in the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria, February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi - RC1680018E00
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Syrian Minister of Transport Ali Hammoud met with Chinese Ambassador to Syria Qi Qianjin in Damascus on April 10. Hammoud stressed the importance of his country’s incorporation into Beijing’s One Belt, One Road initiative — an ambitious plan to recreate the modern-day analogue of the Silk Road. Hammoud invited Chinese investors to participate in commercial projects on Syrian soil, including the City of Marine Industries, to be established on the coast between Latakia and Tartus; the development of international transport routes; and the launch of railroad projects in rural Damascus.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad paid his own visit to Tehran Feb. 25 to meet with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani. The visit occurred in light of intensified exchanges between Iranian and Syrian business delegations, and expert discussions about Iran’s claims to a predominant role in Syria’s reconstruction.

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