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Wednesday, June 15, 2011     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Qatar investors pulling out of Syria operations

ABU DHABI — Qatar has been moving investments from turbulent Syria to neighboring Jordan.


Industry sources said the Gulf Cooperation Council emirate suspended a major energy project in Syria amid the revolt against President Bashar Assad. They said the state-owned Qatar Fuel was exploring the option of building and operating a network of gasoline stations in Jordan.

"Investments in Syria are no longer safe, and Qatar could lose billions in existing projects in Syria," an industry source said.

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The sources said the state-owned Qatar Electricity and Water Co. abandoned a project to build two power generators in Syria. They said Jordan and Qatar have been discussing a similar project.

"The Syrian project has been canceled because the government failed to honor its commitments," the source said.

The sources said Qatar was expected to lose up to $6 billion in investments in Syria. They said relations by the two countries were strained amid the unrest against the regime in Damascus.

Qatar has also stopped the import of sheep from Syria. Instead, Jordan has been contracted to deliver mutton to Qatar.

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