Jordan’s King Abdullah II received a call from Syrian President Bashar Assad on Sunday, the first talks between the two leaders after a decade of tension over the Syrian civil war.
The call comes amid efforts to enhance cooperation between the two countries facing challenging economic conditions.
Jordan’s royal court said the leaders “discussed relations between the brother countries and ways to enhance cooperation between them.”
Abdullah reaffirmed his country’s support for “the efforts to preserve Syria’s sovereignty, stability, territorial integrity and people”.
Syria’s state news agency Sanaa said Assad called on Abdullah to discuss bilateral ties and “strengthen cooperation in the interests of both countries and peoples”.
The call is part of a new deterioration in relations between the two neighbors after the Syrian civil war. Syria is facing sanctions imposed by the United States and several Western countries.
Jordan, like most Arab countries, has cut diplomatic ties with Syria since a civil war broke out there in 2011. Jordan hosted Western-backed opposition groups and took in hundreds of thousands of refugees.
Arab and Western countries generally blame Assad for the deadly crackdown on the protests that erupted in 2011, and supported the opposition in the early days of the conflict, which displaced and killed millions.
The war’s stance changed since late 2015 as Russia threw its military load behind Assad.
Days after a phone conversation, Jordan fully reopened its main border with Syria, a commercial lifeline for both countries. The crossing was reopened in 2018 but was closed again amid coronavirus restrictions and worsening security situation along Syria’s southern borders.
The Syrian Defense Minister visited Jordan at the end of last month. A 10-year-old deal to transport Egyptian natural gas through Jordan, Syria and Lebanon was also revived in September.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Syria