WORLD Syria-Jordan agree to re-open Nasib crossing


Syria-Jordan agree to re-open Nasib crossing


23:17, October 14, 2018

DAMASCUS, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian Interior Minister Muhammad al-Sha'ar said Sunday that the Syrian and Jordanian sides have agreed to re-open the Nasib-Jaber border crossing as of Monday, according to the state TV.


Vehicles near Nasib border crossing between Jordan and Syria, are seen from Marafaq, Jordan, September 29, 2018. (Photo: VCG)

Al-Sha'ar said that technical teams from both countries met Sunday at the Jaber border point, which is on the Jordanian side of the border, and finalized all arrangements and measures pertaining to the re-opening of the Nasib-Jaber crossing between both countries.

The border crossing was closed in 2015 when the rebels took over the Nasib area and the crossing in the countryside of Daraa province in southern Syria.

The Syrian army captured Daraa and the border crossing in July after the rebels in the province surrendered to the army and agreed to evacuate to rebel-held areas in northern Syria, mainly the northwestern province of Idlib.

Last month, the Syrian Transportation Ministry declared raising the transit crossing fees that should be paid by trucks passing in and out of Syria whether they are loaded or empty.

Ahead of the crisis, the Nasib crossing was the busiest border crossing in Syria as it is situated on the Damascus-Amman international highway.

The crossing is also considered one of the most important land crossings in the Middle East as it was the main crossing for Syrian exports to Jordan and the Gulf countries.

Lebanon would also benefit from the re-opening of the Nasib crossing as the Mediterranean country only through Nasib can do trade business with Arab markets.

The closure of the Nasib border incurred major losses in Lebanon, as 70 percent of the agricultural exports, 32 percent of the food industry and 22 percent of the total industry exports in the country passed through Nasib ahead of its closure, according to Nabil Itani, chairman, and CEO of the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon.

The Lebanese businesses had to resort to sea shipment when Nasib was closed, which is much more expensive compared with the land shipment.

The crossing is also important for Jordan which is suffering from economic problems.

Since the crossing was closed in 2015, Jordan has suffered heavy losses as 70 percent of its exports and imports went through Syria, according to Nabil Ruman, head of the investor's board of the Jordanian Free Zone.

Reports said the loss of the Jordanian transport sector from the border closure is estimated at around half 1 billion U.S. dollars.

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