Saturday, February 24, 2024
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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Syria’s Mugabe rides the Astana train to Zimbabwe

Robert Mugabe on June 29, 2008; Credit: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images

The Arab response after the Jeddah (Arab Summit) conference came in the form of the “astounding” meeting between Sky News Arabia and the head of the Syrian regime, which some considered to be his “last chance” meeting. Currently, the dollar exchange rate has reached more than 15,400 Syrian pounds, and the 2023 budget, which amounted to 16.5 trillion Syrian pounds, saw its real value drop from 2.7 to 1.1 billion dollars. Following traditional policies of filling the budget deficit through treasury bonds will not be effective, as inflation will erode any interest rate offered by the government on these bonds.

Any solution following the Astana model with its twenty conferences, claiming to seek a comprehensive solution for all Syrian territories, simply means that all of Syria would be under Russian and Iranian influence

Dr. Osama Kadi

If we assume that an institution purchased 1 billion Syrian pounds worth of bonds valued at 222,000 dollars in August 2022 (when 1 dollar = 4,500 Syrian pounds) and after two years, in August 2024, 1 dollar = 14,400 Syrian pounds the bonds (previously valued at 222,000 dollars) would decrease to 69,000 dollars, resulting in a loss of 152,000 dollars for every billion Syrian pounds. To put it simply, this means a 70% loss for the “genius investor”!

Any solution following the Astana model with its twenty conferences, claiming to seek a comprehensive solution for all Syrian territories, simply means that all of Syria would be under Russian and Iranian influence, with a “national unity” government that includes locally manufactured “opposition” figures, as Assad mentioned in the interview. This would come with the continued Russian influence and their numerous agreements, along with Russian debts, as the price for protecting the regime. This also entails the use of over 320 types of weapons over the heads of the Syrian people, protecting Iranian oil tankers from the Suez Canal to Tartus, as well as managing and repairing the “Russian” ports, not only Latakia, built by the late Khaled Al-Azm in the 1960s, but also the ports in Tartus and Baniyas.

the Syrian currency could, God forbid, experience a drastic devaluation, potentially leading to the removal of 10 zeros from the currency, similar to what happened to the Zimbabwean dollar during Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule

Dr. Osama Kadi

Moreover, the “national unity” government would have to fulfill Assad’s commitments to Iran, involving more than 51 agreements, which even Iran’s president couldn’t be bothered to travel to Damascus to approve. Instead, he signed remotely two days after the Jeddah meeting, forcing the regime to implement them in order to show the Arab world that Iran is solely in control.

If the Assad regime continues following Russia and Iran as their “guarantors” for the “political” process in Syria, the Syrian currency could, God forbid, experience a drastic devaluation, potentially leading to the removal of 10 zeros from the currency, similar to what happened to the Zimbabwean dollar during Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule, when the price of a loaf of bread reached 250 billion Zimbabwean dollars in 2017 while he was fighting “imperialism”.

Osama Kadi
Osama Kadi
Holds an MA, an MBA and a Ph.D. in Economics; Economic & administrative advisor; Lecturer of Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Business; Appears on media to analyze international and Syrian economic matters

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