Jordan will fully reopen its main border crossing with Syria from Wednesday, government and industry officials said, as a high-level Syrian team arrived in Amman to discuss how to alleviate the flow of goods affected by the pandemic and from a decade of conflict.
Although the Jaber crossing has been open since 2018 after the Syrian government ousted the rebels from southern Syria, trade has yet to return to the pre-war level of $ 1 billion.
The pandemic has led to measures to try to curb coronavirus transmission and those restrictions will be lifted from Wednesday, officials told Reuters.
They said a visiting trade delegation from Syria, led by ministers of economy, trade, agriculture, water and electricity, will also discuss removing tariff barriers.
“We hope the moves will restore previous trade relations before the conflict and revive the lucrative transit trade,” Jamal al Rifae, deputy head of the Jordanian chamber of commerce, told Reuters.
Interior Minister Mazen Faraya said restrictions on Syrian transit cargoes to Gulf markets and Iraq via Jordan, which Damascus pushed, will also be lifted.
The transit of goods from the Gulf from Jordan to Syria will also be allowed along with unrestricted passenger traffic, Faraya told Jordanian public broadcaster Al-Mamlaka.
Before the conflict in Syria, the Nasib-Jaber crossing was a transit route for hundreds of trucks a day carrying goods between Europe and Turkey and the Gulf.
Jordanian businessmen had largely avoided dealing with Syria after the 2019 Caesar Act, the toughest US sanctions that banned foreign companies from trading with Damascus.
Affected by the economic slowdown caused in part by the pandemic, Jordanian businessmen have lobbied the government to ask Washington to ease restrictions on items it needs approval to import from Syria, where traders have long had close partnerships. .
Syria’s only normally operational border crossing was with Lebanon and in recent years with Iraq after the reopening of the Qaim crossing in 2019.
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