Total tells Takieddine what it wants from Sarkozy’s visit to Damascus

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On August 28th 2008, just days before Sarkozy’s arrival in Damascus, a senior director of Total sent Ziad Takieddine details the oil group’s plans in Syria. The covering note to Takieddine reads: "As agreed, you will find joined here the document we spoke about yesterday. This confidential document has not been passed to anyone other than yourself, and therefore cannot be distributed." The document underlined that "the visit by the President [of France] to Syria early September should be the occasion to conclude, in the presence of the two presidents, the following agreements". It detailed several contracts and resumed the group’s expectations. "The real issue at stake remains the effective commencement of a concrete cooperation with State companies on one or two identified E&P [exploration and production] projects [...] This point remains to be concretized during a meeting at the highest level between the [Total] Group and the Syrian authorities, before or on the margins of the visit by the PR [President of the French Republic] to Syria."

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