Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Monday that his top priority was the reconstruction of his country, battered by more than seven years of fierce fighting.

He spoke during a gathering with his foreign affairs minister Walid Muallem and other Syrian diplomats in Damascus, according to the presidency.

“Reconstruction is the top priority in Syria, backed up by the continued fight against terrorism,” Assad said.

The Syrian head of state, who has estimated rebuilding would cost $200 billion at the very least, has insisted he would refuse Western contributions.

In an interview in June with Russia’s NTV network, Assad said the West “won’t be part of reconstruction in Syria, because very simply we won’t allow them to be part of it, whether they come with money or not”.

On Monday, Assad said his government would also focus on amending legislation, the return of refugees who fled because of “terrorism” and reactivating the stalled political process.

Source: National News Agency

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Monday that his top priority was the reconstruction of his country, battered by more than seven years of fierce fighting. He spoke during a gathering with his foreign affairs minister Walid Muallem and other Syrian diplomats in Damascus, according to the presidency. 'Reconstruction...