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Syrian Defense Minister Visits Jordan

Syrian Defense Minister Visits Jordan

Monday, 20 September, 2021 - 06:30
People wait to travel to Syria at Jordan's Jaber border crossing, near Syria's Nassib checkpoint, near Mafraq, Jordan, October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Chief of Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Yousef Huneiti met in Amman on Sunday with Syrian Defense Minister Gen. Ali Ayoub, the first such meeting since the Syrian conflict erupted a decade ago.

Huneiti and Ayoub tackled several issues of mutual concern especially cooperation over border security, the situation in the south of Syria, combatting terrorism and joint efforts to face the smuggling of drugs.

Jordan’s state media reported that discussions between them focused on border security between the two brotherly countries.

"The talks are within the concern to intensify future coordination over all common issues,” a statement from Jordan's army said.

The meeting comes three months following the visit of Syria's ministers of oil and electricity to Amman in a first visit of Syrian officials to the kingdom since the start of the conflict in 2011.

Jordanian authorities had repeatedly closed the Nassib-Jaber border crossing with Syria over the past years as a result of the security situation on the Syrian side and as part of the preventive measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, obstructing the movement of goods and passengers.

Amman also hosted a meeting between the energy ministers of Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon last week to discuss the transit of Egyptian gas to Lebanon for electricity generation.

Jordan is considered one of the few Arab states that maintained its relations and contacts with Syria following the 2011 conflict.

However, such contacts remained limited. The kingdom hosts more than 650,000 Syrian refugees.

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