Aid package marks improvement in diplomatic relations between Syria, Germany. ‘Syria needs to progress’ says German development minister
Germany extended 34 million euros ($46.48 million) in financial aid to Syria on Tuesday, marking an improvement in ties after two years of strain, Syrian officials said.
The package, which is divided between a soft loan and grants for infrastructure and development projects, is the first such German aid to Syria since the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in Beirut, they said.
German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul and Tayseer al-Radawi, head of the Syrian government’s planning division, signed an agreement on the terms of the assistance in Damascus.
“Syria needs to progress on the political, civil society and rule of law fronts, but our work is based on cooperation, not confrontation,” said Wieczorek-Zeul.
The Hariri assassination sent relations between the West and Damascus plummeting. The European Union froze talks with Syria on an economic agreement after the killing.
A United Nations investigation implicated Lebanese and Syrian security officials in the assassination, but Syria denied involvement.