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    05-Sep-2018

80 businessmen in Damascus to pave way for future cooperation

 

By Raed Omari , The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — A private sector delegation headed to Damascus on Tuesday to discuss prospects of cooperation with their Syrian counterparts.
 
A well-informed source, who requested anonymity, said that the delegation comprised around 80 businessmen who were due to discuss with their Syrian counterparts the establishment of joint economic ventures and the resumption of trade exchange when the border crossings between the two countries reopen.
 
In a recent interview with the Russian international television network, RT, Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh said that the private sector delegation’s visit to Damascus was part of the preparations to reopen the border crossings between Jordan and Syria.
 
Underlining Amman’s keenness on its strategic relationship with Damascus, Tarawneh added that there is security coordination between Jordan and Syria regarding the reopening of border crossings. 
 
In remarks to The Jordan Times earlier in August, an official source said that Jordan had not yet decided to reopen the Jaber border crossing with Syria.
 
During a meeting with industrialists last month, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said that after restoring security in Syria, the border crossings would be reopened.
 
In 2015, Jordan closed the Jaber border crossing with Syria for security reasons, while Ramtha, the other border crossing with the war-torn country, has been closed for more than five years.
 
On the return of the Syrian refugees, Tarawneh told RT that there has been “highly successful” coordination between Amman and Moscow. The speaker also said that the return of the Syrian refugees to their country “has to be safe, well-examined and voluntary”, stressing that Jordan would not force their return.
 
During a meeting in July with a high-profile Russian delegation, headed by Moscow Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said that Jordan encourages the voluntary return of refugees to their country and supports efforts that seek to provide proper conditions for their return.
 
Safadi also underlined the need to ensure a safe political, social and economic environment that encourage refugees to go back to their towns and villages.
 

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