Syria signs export deals with Iraqi, Kuwaiti, Russian firms

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian state media says the nation's Exporters' Union on Monday signed agreements with Iraqi, Kuwaiti, and Russian companies to export agricultural products to their markets.

Syria's government is looking for trade and investment partners through its annual Damascus International Fair to help rebuild its shattered economy.

Western governments say they are unwilling to invest in or trade with Syria without a plan for political transition in Damascus. They have also levied a raft of sanctions against politically-linked figures and companies, on charges of supporting state-sponsored terrorism and facilitating war crimes.

A United Nations agency says Syria's seven-year-long civil war has cost the country $388 billion in economic damages.