Pompeo, De Mistura Agree Syrian Reconstruction Talks Premature - State Dept

© REUTERS / Khalil AshawiCivilians walk in the rain past a damaged building in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town in Idlib province, Syria October 28, 2015
Civilians walk in the rain past a damaged building in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town in Idlib province, Syria October 28, 2015 - Sputnik International
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura during a private meeting agreed that any discussions of reconstruction in Syria are premature without a political solution, the State Department said in a press release.

"Pompeo and Special Envoy de Mistura agreed that all parties needed to move ahead on the political track and that any discussion of reconstruction was premature absent a political solution leading unalterably to both constitutional reform and free and fair elections as described in UN Security Council Resolution 2254," the release said after their meeting on Wednesday.

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Syrian Minister of Local Administration and Environment Hussein Makhlouf said ealier on Wednesday that the Western sanctions against Syria hamper its restoration. The minister pointed out that lifting of the sanctions would also improve the situation around the Syrian refugees.

Meanwhile, Syria's Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ministry has developed a strategy to provide the country with energy resources until 2033.

Syrian Public Administration Minister Hussein Makhlouf said earlier that the authorities were making every effort to rehabilitate the Syrian industry in order to provide the country's population with commodities and to create new employment.

Syrians have been gradually returning to their homes over the recent months due to the reconstruction of destroyed social infrastructure in the country, while the overall situation has reportedly became more peaceful and stable.

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Syrian President Bashar Assad has said that it would take up to $400 billion to rebuild Syria after the conflict, which has been raging since 2011. In June, the Syrian president, however, said he would not accept the West’s help after claims by some politicians surfaced saying that Western nations would not fund these efforts while Assad was in power.

The Syrian civil war has been raging for over seven years, with government forces fighting numerous terror groups and opposition factions. Russia, alongside Iran and Turkey, is a guarantor of the ceasefire in Syria. Moscow is assisting Damascus both through supporting the struggle against terrorist groups and providing humanitarian aid to the residents of the crisis-torn country.

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