21:14 GMT +323 January 2018
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    A picture taken on December 21, 2017 shows an elevated view of the square of Saadallah al-Jabiri as marching bands, soldiers, and civilians gather in a government celebration marking the first anniversary of the retaking of the second Syrian city of Aleppo

    Rebuilding Aleppo is a Topmost Priority – Syrian Minister of Tourism

    © AFP 2018/ George OURFALIAN
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    The Syrian government counts on Russia’s help in reviving the heavily damaged tourist infrastructure in Aleppo, the country’s Minister of Tourism Bishr Yaziji said in an interview with Sputnik.

    Special committees have already been set up in the city to assess the damage; and investments are already coming in to rebuild the touristic highlights, scarred by years of war, especially the city’s medieval marketplace.

    “Russian and Syrian companies will be working to restore the city’s tourist facilities, and state and privately-owned tour companies will receive all the help they need,” Bishr Yaziji said.

    He described efforts to restore the Sheraton hotel, shuttered over fears of terrorist attacks, as a major priority.

    “The hotel stands close to the Old City, which keeps the whole of Aleppo going. It’s earliest possible reconstruction will breathe new vigor into the city’s trade, economy and tourism,” Yaziji added.

    Earlier, Energy Minister Zaher Kharbutli told reporters that two new power transmission lines will provide the city with an additional 375 megawatts of power.

    The first, 6 km line, will cost 300 million Syrian pounds ($582,558) to build, and the second, 170 km one, to run from Hama, will cost 4 billion pounds ($7,767,444).

    The minister said that the government will make every effort to restore electricity to the country’s second largest city to put its economy back on track.

    Aleppo served as the country's pre-war economic and manufacturing hub.

    The government plans to rebuild the city, above all its Sheikh Najjar industrial district, in a bid to jack up domestic production and reduce the country’s reliance in imports.

    READ MORE: Russian Servicemen Open Medical Facility in Syria's Aleppo Province

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    Tags:
    Aleppo, Russian help, reconstruction, tourism, Syrian Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Energy, Zaher Kharbutli, Bishr Yaziji, Syria
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