March 12, 2008
JICA President Mrs. Sadako Ogata met Syrian government officials and visited field projects as she continued her Middle East tour.
On Tuesday (March 11) Mrs. Ogata held talks with Abdullah Abdelrazzaq Al-Dardari, deputy prime minister for economic affairs, and Tayssir Raddawi, head of the State Planning Commission, in addition to touring an environmental monitoring project that was launched in 2005.
On Wednesday she has scheduled meetings with President Bashar al-Assad and representatives of UN agencies working in Syria in development, refugee assistance, and other areas before touring the capital, Damascus, reputedly the oldest city in the world.
She will end a nine-day visit to the region on Thursday and will then fly to the United States.
During a visit to Jordan preceding her Syrian tour, Mrs. Ogata met Prince Hassan, discussing a range of Middle Eastern issues. Mrs. Ogata said Jordan was a vital part of JICA’s technical cooperation projects in the region, particularly because it actively helps to train personnel from other areas including Iraq and Palestine.
She visited the Dead Sea area where JICA and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) are helping to strengthen Jordan’s important tourism industry with several projects.