SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 14 June 2024, Friday |

Jordan’s foreign minister visits Syria in first trip since war

Ayman Safadi, the foreign minister of Jordan, came in Damascus on Wednesday, marking the first such visit between the two neighbors since the Syrian crisis since the two have been at odds over regional matters for a long time, sources said.

The visit will focus on humanitarian needs and how Jordan, a neighbor that shelters tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, can aid in continuing relief efforts, according to Jordanian officials. The visit is intended to express solidarity following the recent earthquake and will be followed by one to Turkey.

“Safadi will discuss the humanitarian and aid needs that the two countries need,” a statement from the foreign ministry said, adding that aid planes will fly to both countries on Wednesday. Syrian President Bashar al Assad met Safadi in a meeting that Jordanian officials downplayed as a political gesture towards Damascus whom the staunch U.S. ally is at odds with over a range of regional issues.

Assad has been seeking to benefit politically from the quake that has killed thousands in both Turkey and Syria and hoping to capitalize on it to break Western sanctions and ease his country’s diplomatic isolation.

 

Jordan has sent large shipments of aid to both countries with the kingdom sending a medical hospital to Turkey and organising several large flights and aid convoys through the country’s northern border crossing with Syria.

Jordan had supported mainstream rebel groups that had sought to topple Assad but later backed a Russian-led military campaign that regained southern Syria from rebel control.

Efforts to improve ties have floundered since Assad talked at the end of 2021 to King Abdullah for the first time since the conflict where Jordan said Damascus was not receptive to international community demands towards an inclusive political settlement.

Jordan has criticised Damascus for failing to curb a multi-billion dollar drug smuggling operation to the Gulf through its borders that Amman blames on Iranian-backed militias who hold sway in southern Syria.

    Source:
  • Reuters