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New economic normalisation between Assad regime and Jordan 

March 7, 2020 at 11:17 am

Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus, Syria on 10 May 2010 [Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images]

The government of Bashar Al-Assad’s regime has agreed with the Jordanian government on a series of steps to enhance economic cooperation and increase the level of trade exchange, in a new development to normalise relations.

The Facebook page of the presidency of the Council of Ministers in Syria stated that the minister of economy and foreign trade, Mohammad Samer Al-Khalil, met on Thursday with the Jordanian minister of industry and trade, Tariq Al-Hamwi, in Damascus.

The Facebook page pointed out that the two ministers agreed to enhance mutual cooperation in the field of commodity trade, agriculture, transport and water resources.

Jordan News Agency Petra reported on Thursday that the two ministers, Al-Khalil and Al-Hamwi, will follow up on the files of the relevant technical teams, including commodity trade, agriculture, transport and water resources, and will work to overcome obstacles: “Facing the upgrade of the level of bilateral relations.”

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The two sides referred to the: “Common keenness to develop and strengthen bilateral relations, and to discuss the future of Jordanian-Syrian economic relations and ways of developing them.”

This advanced normalisation visit is the first of its kind by a prominent Jordanian official to Syria, since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011.

Since late 2018, trade relations between Al-Assad’s regime and Jordan have improved after the regime regained control of the Nasib border crossing, after it had been closed for three years as a result of the opposition’s control over the border area.

In December 2019, the Finance Ministry of Al-Assad’s government announced the cancellation of fees imposed on Jordanian trucks entering Syria, to be limited to transit fees estimated at ten per cent.

There have been several recent Arab attempts to normalise relations with Al-Assad’s regime after its control over large areas of Syrian territories with Russian-Iranian support and the displacement of millions of Syrians.