Syria acquired the technology to launch a satellite into orbit in 1986 but decided the project was not necessary, Syrian Information Minister Mohammed Salman said Friday.
Salman, quoted by state-run Damascus Radio, said, “Syria had previously considered sending a communication satellite into space and had the capabilities to carry out the plan two years ago.”
“But we dropped the idea after we determined that our present means to gather information were enough,” he said.
The information minister downplayed the significance of Israel’s launching of a communication satellite on Sept. 19.
Israel became the first space power in the Middle East when it sucessfully launched Ofek-1. Arab leaders denounced the launching, saying Israel would use the satellite for spying.