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Swedish Delegation in Syria Includes Schiller Institute Activist; Hamiltonian Bank, Syrian Integration into the World Landbridge
and New Silk Road Discussed

November 2015

Ulf Sandmark.

Nov. 24, 2015 (EIRNS)—The campaign for a Hamiltonian Bank in Syria took a big step forward with a nine-day visit to Damascus by a 15-person delegation from the Swedish Syrian Support Committee for Democracy, which included Schiller Institute activist Ulf Sandmark. The delegation met with many top people, who all got the Arabic-language article Phoenix Project Syria, discussion points on Syrian reconstruction, which were all received with great interest and mostly with enthusiasm from the officials and journalists met.

The Swedish Syrian Support organization is one of the most well-known Syrian exile organizations aiding Syria today, and was therefore received very openly in a very busy schedule all through the visit. The media were also very open, and the meetings were covered for five days in a row on TV, including three longer interviews in Arabic, in which members of the delegation reported on the activities for Syria in Sweden but also on the idea of a reconstruction bank and the New Silk Road policies. A lot of the media coverage took up the idea of a reconstruction bank.

The most important meeting was with Dr. Bouthania Shaaban, who is the political and media advisor to the President of Syria, Dr. Bashar Assad. She is a longtime, almost legendary Syrian politician who has also been part of international negotiations on Palestine for ten years. Separate meetings were held with Prime Minister Wael Al-Halqi and representatives of his agency responsible for reconstruction, the Syrian Investment Agency. At the latter, Ulf gave a 25-minute presentation about the Syrian reconstruction bank proposal and the possibility of it linking up with the New Silk Road projects. Such a bank is the only chance for Syria to unite the country. Traditional monetarist economic policy would bankrupt Syria and risk disintegration. A credit system could solve the urgent need of putting all available unemployed to work in reconstruction and development. This is especially important, because it would bring former reconciled rebels into a common mission for the nation and also recruit back the very much lost youth who went aboad as refugees. It also would serve as a tool against corruption as it could put all productive companies to work so that no one be "left behind." It would promote a Mittelstand that could become a strong social force for democracy and development.

Ulf Sandmark (center) and Swedish architect Greger Ahlberg (left) with other members of the delegation of the Swedish association the Syrian Support Committee for Democracy, and the head of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus (second from left), during their November 2014 visit to Syria.

The concept of Noah’s Ark for Europe to get out of its economic crisis was also brought up in most meetings. It took on special meaning, as the terrorist attacks in Paris showed that Europe cannot control terrorism now. With Syria and its Army in the front against the terrorists, it is Syria and its allies— Russia, China and the BRICS, that also offer a Noah’s Ark against terrorism. Europe therefore needs Noah’s Ark both to cope with its economic crisis and terrorism. The meaning of Noah’s Ark is that the negotiation tables are turned such that now it is Europe that is in need of help.

In summary, the delegation met with four other ministries, three top religious leaders, and three national aid organizations, and visited two army rehabilitation hospitals and one private hospital.