Syria, Jordan in talks to reopen key border crossing, resume bilateral trade

Syrian and Jordanian officials have started talks to reopen the key border crossing of al-Nassib after a three-year hiatus in a bid to re-establish bilateral trade and help revive the economy of war-torn Syria.
The first round of talks was held on Wednesday, with both countries agreeing to continue negotiations over the practical arrangements, from customs to security, in order to reopen the crossing in southern Syria, an informed source said Thursday.
“The meetings will continue to put a complete view of all the arrangements linked to reopening the crossings in the coming period,” the source told Reuters.
Al-Nassib border crossing was closed in 2015 following attacks on the Jordanian security forces by foreign-backed terrorists, but the Syrian army managed to retake the vital route last July.
Jordan seeks to reactivate billions of dollars of annual transit trade between Europe and Persian Gulf markets across Syria.
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said last month that his country wants to open its borders with Syria, but was waiting for a response from Damascus.
Another Jordanian official said the al-Nassib crossing could open by the end of this year.
The Syrian government also hopes that the reopening of the key crossing could help the war-torn country revive its economy and rebuild itself.
Efforts to restore peace and stability to Syria come as government forces have managed to purge terrorists and anti-government militants from most of the country, and are preparing for a full-scale offensive to retake the northwestern Idlib province, the last stronghold of foreign-backed terrorists.