The recent steep fall in the value of the Syrian pound against foreign currencies was caused by a “malicious war” waged against Syria and its people, the Governor of the Central Bank of Syria (CBS), Adib Mayyala, asserted in a TV interview on 24 March. He added that vicious enemies from a number of countries are confronting Syria in a terrorist war intended to precipitate an economic crisis. He attributed the slide in the local currency to speculators who rushed to convert their savings into foreign exchange.

However the governor noted that the Syrian pound, which had hit a record low exchange rate of $1=S£123 on the black market a week or so earlier, had strengthened to $1=S£110, after he reiterated support for the local currency. He said that it had remained resilient in the past few months despite speculation about its collapse, and confirmed that the CBS continued to meet foreign exchange demand for essential imports. The official exchange rate on 26 March was quoted at $1=S£86.50, almost half its value two years ago. (CONTINUED - 292 WORDS)