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Amman

Syria, Jordan Talk Opening Nassib

Tasnim
14 Sep 2018, 18:36 GMT+10

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Jordan and Syria held their first technical talks on opening a major border crossing in southern Syria that was recaptured from militants last July, a Jordanian official source said Thursday.

Damascus, which took back the crossing from the Takfiri militants, hopes to reopen the Nassib route, vital to its hopes of reviving Syria's shattered economy and rebuilding in territory under its control.

Amman also hopes the opening of the border crossing will reactivate billions of dollars of annual transit trade between Europe and Persian Gulf markets across Syria. The source told Reuters a technical committee from the two countries held their first meeting on the border crossing Wednesday to begin discussions on the practical arrangements from customs to security needed to reopen the crossing.

"The meetings will continue to put a complete view of all the arrangements linked to reopening the crossings in the coming period," the source said, according to Reuters.

Another Jordanian official said the crossing could open by the end of this year.

The closure of the crossing has also weighed on Lebanese exporters, who used it to export hundreds of millions of dollars of products and goods to lucrative Persian Gulf markets.

Jordan's private sector is also pinning hopes of a revival in bilateral trade in a major neighboring market where Jordanian business have long-standing ties.

The Syrian government has recovered control of most of the country with help from its allies Russia and Iran. With Russian airpower, government forces have this year defeated the Takfiri militants in the last remaining enclaves near the cities of Homs and Damascus, and swept through the rebel-held southwest.

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