Jordan’s King, Assad speak for first time in a decade

Jordan’s King Abdullah II receives call from Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad amid efforts to boost cooperation between the countries.

Elad Benari ,

King Abdullah II
King Abdullah II
Reuters

Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Sunday received a call from Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, the first conversation between the two leaders in a decade, reports The Associated Press.

The call comes amid efforts aimed at boosting cooperation between the two countries, which are facing challenging economic conditions.

The Jordanian royal court said the leaders discussed relations between the “brotherly countries and ways to enhance cooperation between them.”

King Abdullah affirmed his country’s support for “efforts to preserve Syria’s sovereignty, stability, territorial integrity and people”, according to AP.

Syria’s state news agency SANA said Assad called the Jordanian monarch to discuss bilateral relations and “reinforcing cooperation in the interests of the two countries and people.”

Jordan reduced diplomatic relations with Syria, like most Arab countries, following the start of the civil war there in 2011, hosted western-backed opposition groups and took in hundreds of thousands of refugees.

In 2014, Jordan expelled the Syrian ambassador, citing “continued offensive statements, through his personal contacts or writing in the media and the social media against the kingdom.”

Syria later retaliated by expelling the Jordanian ambassador from Damascus.

In 2015, Syria accused Jordan of training "terrorists" on its soil and urged the UN Security Council to take action.

Sunday’s phone conversation between Assad and King Abdullah comes days after Jordan fully reopened its main border crossing with Syria, a commercial lifeline for the two nations.



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