|05DAMASCUS6328||2005-12-05 16:11:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Damascus|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L DAMASCUS 006328
1. (U) Reftel requested information regarding the SARG's
trading relationship with and investments in Cuba. The SARG
signed a commercial agreement in October 1998 with the
Government of Cuba that calls for increased bilateral
economic cooperation. The agreement, which was ratified and
implemented in 2001, does not include details on preferential
trade measures or tariff reductions. Despite the countries'
bilateral economic ties, little commerce or investment takes
place between the two countries as a result of geographic
distance and substantial transport costs.
2. (C) In November 2005, a delegation headed by Economy and
Trade Minister Amer Lutfi traveled to Cuba as part of a trip
to Central and South America. According to the Syrian press,
during his meeting with Cuban Minister for Foreign Investment
and Economic Collaboration Marta Lomas, the parties discussed
revitalizing bilateral exchanges, as well as increasing their
commercial and political links. A post contact at the Syrian
Ministry of Economy and Trade also indicated that the
ministers explored the possibility of creating a Cuban-Syrian
Business Council to futher the countries' trade relationship,
and signed a protocol agreement confirming the need for such
3. (U) Post is unaware of any policies and actions taken by
the SARG to advance democracy, human rights, and fundamental
freedoms in Cuba.