Reopening of Jordan-Syria crossing signals regional powers move to restore ties with Damascus

  16 October 2018    Read: 1300
Reopening of Jordan-Syria crossing signals regional powers move to restore ties with Damascus

The newly re-opened border crossing between Syria and Jordan will not only help to restore a key Middle East trade route but also move regional actors to restore relations with Damascus, experts told RT.

On Monday the main border crossing known as Jaber on the Jordanian side and Nassib on the Syrian side was operational again. Another Syrian border crossing that opened on the same day was the one with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Trade revival is expected to become the most visible immediate effect of the development, both in terms of bilateral business links between Syria and Jordan and a broader situation in the region. “This will open the door to more trade between Syria and Jordan, which would benefit people on both sides of the border,” Ammar Waqqaf, the director of Gnosos, a British think tank that focuses on crises in Syria and the Middle East, told.

The road between Damascus and the Jordanian capital of Amman was once a major regional trading route linking the Mediterranean ports of Lebanon, Syria and Turkey to the markets of the Gulf States. Lebanon already praised the reopening of the border crossing as a chance to improve the national economy, which was also severely hit by the Syrian war.

Lebanon’s president, Michel Aoun, called the route between Damascus and Amman a “vital lifeline” for many Lebanese industries while complaining that Lebanon’s export to the Arab countries fell by 35 percent because of the closure of this transport corridor.

“It will … help Lebanon [to trade] with the likes of Jordan and the rest of the Arab peninsula,” Jamal Wakeem, a professor of history and international relations at Lebanese University in Beirut, told RT, adding that “it will also help Lebanon overcome certain economic difficulties” it faces since the start of the Syrian crisis because it mostly relies on Syria “as a transit country in trade.”

With its trade routes restored, Syria could regain its former status of one of the key elements of the Middle Eastern economy and trade, Wakeem added.

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