Monday 22nd of October 2018 |
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A step at a time - Editorial, The Jordan Times



The agreement declaring southern Syria, which borders Jordan, a de-escalation zone, reached in the summer, was recently signed by Jordan, Russia and the US, an important step in the trilateral efforts to stop violence in this neighbouring Arab country and create the proper conditions for a sustainable political solution to its crisis.
This zone, together with the other three decided by the agreement reached by the three countries in July 7, will hopefully, eventually, restore stability and will be important points of access for humanitarian aid.
The measure is of particular importance to Jordan, as it is bound to contribute to the establishing of a safe and secure area across its frontier with Syria and stem the inflow of more refugees.
Moreover, once the feeling of security is there, Syrian refugees in Jordan may be easier persuaded to move back to their country where they will find sanctuary.
Later still, the border between Jordan and Syria could be opened, and that will facilitate trade between the two countries.
The main point now is who, and how, will monitor things to make sure they go according to the deal.
It is important to ensure that the de-escalation zone along the Syrian-Jordanian border stays free of conflict and of terrorist elements that might wish, as they did before, to infiltrate.
It is also very important that civilians feel safe in the said zones and do not fear falling “collateral victims” to violations like those in other such zones where fighting and bombings, including of hospitals, were resumed.
Russia and the US have the power and bear the responsibility, as initiators of the de-escalation zones, of guaranteeing the ceasefire in these areas. 
Jordan has been contributing its fair share towards helping the Syrians fleeing war in their country.
Now that there is hope that the military conflict in Syria is coming to an end, it is important to make way to peace based on a political process like the one in Geneva.

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