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الجمهورية العربية السورية
Syrian Arab Republic

Flag of Syria Coat of Arms of Syria
Anthem
Homat el Diyar
Guardians of the Land
Map of Syria
CapitalDamascus
Government Socialist republic
President
- From 2000Bashar al-Assad
Prime Minister
- From 2003Muhammad Naji al-Otari
Legislature People's Assembly
History
September 28, 1961Seceded from the United Arab Republic
Area185,180 km²
Population
- 201122,457,763
 Density121.2/km²
GDP2011 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 113.2 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 5,043
CurrencySyrian pound
Flag of the United Arab Republic UAR
v

The Syrian Arab Republic is a one party socialist republic in Southwest Asia.


Background

Following World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French administered the area as Syria until granting it independence in 1946. The new country lacked political stability, however, and experienced a series of military coups during its first decades. Syria united with Egypt in February 1958 to form the United Arab Republic. In September 1961, the two entities separated, and the Syrian Arab Republic was reestablished. In November 1970, Hafiz al-ASAD, a member of the Socialist Ba'th Party and the minority Alawite sect, seized power in a bloodless coup and brought political stability to the country. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Syria lost the Golan Heights to Israel. During the 1990s, Syria and Israel held occasional peace talks over its return. Following the death of President al-ASAD, his son, Bashar al-ASAD, was approved as president by popular referendum in July 2000. Syrian troops - stationed in Lebanon since 1976 in an ostensible peacekeeping role - were withdrawn in April 2005. During the July-August 2006 conflict between Israel and Hizballah, Syria placed its military forces on alert but did not intervene directly on behalf of its ally Hizballah. In May 2007 Bashar al-ASAD was elected to his second term as president.[1]

Economy

Syrian economic growth slowed to 1.8% in 2009 as the global economic crisis affected oil prices and the economies of Syria's key export partners and sources of investment. Damascus has implemented modest economic reforms in the past few years, including cutting lending interest rates, opening private banks, consolidating all of the multiple exchange rates, raising prices on some subsidized items, most notably gasoline and cement, and establishing the Damascus Stock Exchange - which began operations in 2009. In addition, President ASAD signed legislative decrees to encourage corporate ownership reform, and to allow the Central Bank to issue Treasury bills and bonds for government debt. Nevertheless, the economy remains highly controlled by the government. Long-run economic constraints include declining oil production, high unemployment, rising budget deficits, and increasing pressure on water supplies caused by heavy use in agriculture, rapid population growth, industrial expansion, and water pollution.[2]

President

  • Bashar al-Assad () (July 17, 2000 - )


Prime Minister

  • Muhammad Naji al-Otari () (September 10, 2003 - )

Nation

Syrian Polities

Neighbouring Nations

References

  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview

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