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Syria to battle corruption, attract investments: president

04-17-2011 15:54 BJT

DAMASCUS, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Saturday that his country would try to attract investments by combating corruption and searching for new mechanism for investment, Syrian state-run TV reported Saturday.

Addressing the newly-formed cabinet after the oath-taking ceremony, Assad said, "reforms fortify the country against the regional and international strong winds."

Assad, in his second address since the eruption of protests in Syria nearly a month ago, said "Whenever we were transparent, the more we can be able to protect ourselves against untrue charges," adding that Syria should get rid of the unjustified governmental expenditure to end corruption.

"There should be practical steps to fight corruption," he said, adding that there should be a body to combat corruption, bribes should also be handled.

He said Syria, which is passing through a very delicate stage, can introduce a model of modern democracy and would open dialogue with all sides.

Assad sacked the cabinet two weeks ago in one of a series of steps he has taken to contain anti-government protests.

Unrest erupted in Syria about a month ago amid mounting cries for more freedom and greater reforms, however some protests became violent and in result hundreds were killed from both civilians and the security forces.

Syria blames the unrest on "armed gangs" and "foreign conspiracy" to fan the flames of sectarian riot in the country.

Assad has made a series of reforms, including reforming a new cabinet headed by Adel Safar, former agriculture minister, and releasing hundreds of political detainees in addition to sacking corrupt officials.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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