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Damascus: Decree 43 makes it easier to transfer land in border regions

KURDWATCH, May 2, 2011—As reported by KurdWatch, President Bashar al‑Assad amended Statute 41 from 2004 with Decree 43 on March 26, 2011. The new decree makes a de facto amendment to Decree 49 of September 10, 2008 [see »Decree 49: Dispossession of the Kurdish population?«]. Among other things, Decree 49 had determined that changes to ownership of land in border regions and the long-term lease of such land required authorization. This was true regardless of whether or not the land was developed and whether or not it was located within an area covered by a land utilization plan. With Decree 43 coming into effect, authorization is no longer necessary for the transfer of land that lies within an area covered by a land utilization plan. However, the transfer of land used for agricultural purposes in principle still requires authorization; but effective immediately, the transfer from parents to their children or grandchildren is possible without authorization. In contrast, siblings still need permission for a transfer of this kind of ownership. Decree 43 further simplifies the process by making provincial authorities responsible for granting authorization; the decision no longer rests with Damascus. The recent amendments have led to a construction boom in al‑Hasakah province, which is categorized as border region.

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