Jordan to reopen main crossing with Syria fully this week

Amman, Sept. 28 (BNA) Government and industrial officials said that Jordan will fully reopen its main border crossing with Syria from Wednesday, as a high-level Syrian team arrived in Amman to discuss how to facilitate the flow of goods that have been affected by the crisis. A pandemic and a decade of conflict.

Although the Jaber crossing has been open since 2018 after the Syrian government expelled rebels from southern Syria, trade has yet to recover to the $1 billion level before the war.

Officials said the pandemic has led to measures being taken to try to curb transmission of the coronavirus and that those restrictions will be lifted from Wednesday, officials said.

They said that a visiting trade delegation from Syria led by the ministers of economy, trade, agriculture, water and electricity will also discuss lifting customs barriers.

“We hope that these steps will lead to the restoration of previous commercial dealings before the conflict and the revival of the lucrative transit trade,” said Jamal Al-Rifai, vice president of the Jordan Chamber of Commerce.

Interior Minister Mazen Faria said that the restrictions imposed on the transit of Syrian goods to the Gulf markets and Iraq via Jordan will be lifted, which is what Damascus is pressing.

Faria told Radio the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan that goods transiting from the Gulf will also be allowed from Jordan to Syria along with unrestricted passenger traffic.

Before the conflict in Syria, the Nassib Jaber crossing was a transit route for hundreds of trucks a day transporting goods between Europe, Turkey and the Gulf.

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Jordanian businessmen had largely avoided doing business with Syria after the 2019 Caesar Act – the toughest US sanctions to date banning foreign companies from doing business with Damascus.

Affected by the economic slowdown partly caused by the pandemic, Jordanian businessmen have pushed Jordanian businessmen to pressure the government to demand Washington ease restrictions on goods that need approval to import from Syria, where traders have long established close partnerships.

The only border crossing that operates normally in Syria was with Lebanon, and in recent years it was Iraq after the reopening of the Al-Qaim crossing in 2019.

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