Jordan’s King spoke over the phone to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday. It’s the first conversation between the two leaders since the onset of the bloody war in Syria.
Abdullah II received a phone call from Assad in what officials stated was the first such communication since the start of the conflict in Syria a decade ago.
The conversation, announced by the royal palace on Sunday, was the latest step in a recent normalisation of ties between leaders who had long been on opposing sides in Syria’s civil war, with Jordan supporting Syrian western-backed rebels seeking to drive Assad from power.
“They discussed relations between the two brotherly countries and ways of enhancing cooperation,” the Jordanian palace statement said.
King Abdullah II told Assad his country supported the territorial integrity of its northern neighbour and efforts to preserve its “stability and sovereignty”, the palace statement added.
Jordan last week fully reopened a border crossing with Syria to boost investment and trade that had suffered during the decade-old conflict.
Jordan, which hosts 1.3 million Syrian refugees, has been economically hurt by the cut in ties with Syria and the closure of the borders. Jordan’s trade balance with Syria dropped from $615m in 2010 to $94m in 2020, according to official Jordanian statistics