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Syria


    • Names:

        conventional long form:
        Syrian Arab Republic

        conventional short form:
        Syria

        local long form:
        Al Jumhuriyah al Arabiyah as Suriyah

        local short form:
        Suriyah

        former:
        United Arab Republic (with Egypt)

    • Digraph:
      SY

    • Type:
      republic under leftwing military regime since March 1963

    • Capital:
      Damascus

    • Administrative divisions:
      14 provinces (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Hasakah, Al Ladhiqiyah, Al Qunaytirah, Ar Raqqah, As Suwayda', Dar'a, Dayr az Zawr, Dimashq, Halab, Hamah, Hims, Idlib, Rif Dimashq, Tartus

    • Independence:
      17 April 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)

    • National holiday:
      National Day, 17 April (1946)

    • Constitution:
      13 March 1973

    • Legal system:
      based on Islamic law and civil law system; special religious courts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    • Suffrage:
      18 years of age; universal

    • Executive branch:

        chief of state:
        President Hafiz al-ASAD (since 22 February 1971 see note); Vice Presidents 'Abd al-Halim ibn Said KHADDAM, Rif'at al-ASAD, and Muhammad Zuhayr MASHARIQA (since 11 March 1984); election last held 2 December 1991 (next to be held NA December 1998); results - President Hafiz al-ASAD was reelected for a fourth seven-year term with 99.98% of the vote; note - President ASAD seized power in the November 1970 coup, assumed presidential powers 22 February 1971, and was confirmed as president in the 12 March 1971 national elections

        head of government:
        Prime Minister Mahmud ZU'BI (since 1 November 1987); Deputy Prime Minister Lt. Gen. Mustafa TALAS (since 11 March 1984); Deputy Prime Minister Salim YASIN (since NA December 1981); Deputy Prime Minister Rashid AKHTARINI (since 4 July 1992)

        cabinet:
        Council of Ministers; appointed by the president

    • Legislative branch:
      unicameral

        People's Council (Majlis al-Chaab):
        elections last held 24-25 August 1994 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (250 total) National Progressive Front 167, independents 83

    • Judicial branch:
      Supreme Constitutional Court, High Judicial Council, Court of Cassation, State Security Courts

    • Political parties and leaders:

        National Progressive Front includes:
        the ruling Arab Socialist Resurrectionist (Ba'th) Party, Hafiz al-ASAD, President of the Republic, Secretary General of the party, and Chairman of the National Progressive Front; Syrian Arab Socialist Party (ASP), 'Abd al-Ghani KANNUT; Arab Socialist Union (ASU), Jamal ATASSI; Syrian Communist Party (SCP), Khalid BAKDASH; Arab Socialist Unionist Movement, Sami SOUFAN; and Democratic Socialist Union Party, leader NA

    • Other political or pressure groups:
      non-Ba'th parties have little effective political influence; Communist party ineffective; conservative religious leaders; Muslim Brotherhood

    • Member of:
      ABEDA, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNRWA, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO

    • Diplomatic representation in US:

        chief of mission:
        Ambassador Walid MUALEM

        chancery:
        2215 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

        telephone:
        [1] (202) 232-6313

        FAX:
        [1] (202) 234-9548

    • US diplomatic representation:

        chief of mission:
        Ambassador Christopher W. S. ROSS

        embassy:
        Abou Roumaneh, Al-Mansur Street No. 2, Damascus

        mailing address:
        P. O. Box 29, Damascus

        telephone:
        [963] (11) 333-2814, 714-108, 333-3788

        FAX:
        [963] (11) 224-7938

    • Flag:
      three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with two small green five-pointed stars in a horizontal line centered in the white band; similar to the flag of Yemen, which has a plain white band and of Iraq, which has three green stars (plus an Arabic inscription) in a horizontal line centered in the white band; also similar to the flag of Egypt, which has a symbolic eagle centered in the white band






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