Door opened to Jordan-Syria cooperation

Tuesday, 2021-10-05 08:47:30
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Jaber-Nassib border crossing on the Jordan-Syria border. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
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NDO – Jordan’s King Abdullah II has recently received a phone call from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the first such communication since the start of the conflict in Syria a decade ago. This is the latest step in thawing the relationship between the two neighbouring countries which have many deep disagreements.

Relations between the two countries have been strained as Jordan backs the Syrian opposition which controlled southern Syria until government troops launched an offensive with Russian support in 2018.

Jordan has been a close ally of the US in Western interventions in Syria. However, the two sides are currently promoting the process of normalising relations.

In a phone call with the Syrian President, King Abdullah affirmed that Jordan supports Syria's territorial integrity and efforts to protect the sovereignty and stability of its northern neighbour. The Syrian Defence Minister visited Jordan to discuss border security cooperation between the two countries.

Jordan has fully opened a border crossing with Syria to promote investment and trade while announcing that it will allow state airline Royal Jordanian to resume direct flights to Syria after years of hiatus.

Jordan's complete reopening of the Jaber border gate with Syria aims to promote trade exchange and help improve the struggling economies of the two countries after Arab countries pushed to restore relations with Syria.

Before the war in Syria in 2011, Nasib border gate (Syrian side) connecting with Jaber (Jordan side) was an important freight transport route, with hundreds of trucks circulating every day connecting trade between Europe, Turkey and the Gulf.

Recently, Jordan urged the US to ease sanctions on Syria to facilitate trade. The country, along with Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, have reached an agreement to use a pipeline built 20 years ago in a cooperation project between Arab countries to transport natural gas from Egypt to Lebanon via Syria.

Following the ministerial meeting between the two sides at the end of September, Jordan and Syria decided to strengthen cooperation in many fields, especially in energy, water and agriculture.

The two sides also discussed measures to support the movement of people and goods between the two countries. Jordan and Syria agreed to reactivate the power transmission line connecting the two countries, with a focus on restoring the power grid in Syria.

In the hope of restoring trade agreements and revitalising potential trade routes, the door to cooperation between Syria and Jordan is now wide open after a ten-year hiatus.

MY VAN/Translated by NDO