Jordan upgrades diplomatic ties with Syria

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The Jordanian embassy in Damascus. (Petra)
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The UAE embassy in Damascus was reopened last month. (AP)
Updated 23 January 2019
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Jordan upgrades diplomatic ties with Syria

  • Some Arab countries have been looking to improve relations with Bashar Al-Assad's regime
  • Jordan recalled its ambassador in 2011 but diplomatic ties were never fully severed

JEDDAH: Jordan has appointed a chargé d'affaires to Syria in an upgrade of diplomatic ties.

An unamed Jordanian diplomat with the ranking of advisor will begin work again at the Jordanian embassy in Damascus, a foreign ministry spokesman said. "The decision is inline with the Jordanian stance since the Syrian revolution erupted in 2011," he said.

The decision is the latest move from Arab countries to improve relations with Bashar Al-Assad's government, which was ostracized by many countries in the region when the Syrian war started in 2011.

Last month, the UAE reaopened its embassy in Damascus after seven years and there has been speculation that Syria will be allowed back into the Arab league after it was kicked out in 2011. Bahrain  also plans to reopen its embassy in the Syrian capital.

Sudan president, Omar Al-Bashir, became the first Arab leader to visit Damascus when he traveled there in December.

Jordan recalled its ambassador in 2011 but diplomatic ties were never fully severed, despite Amman's support for some rebel groups fighting Assad's forces.

In recent months there have been signs of an improvement in relations. In October, Jordan reopened a border crossing with Syria that had been closed for three years. The route once carried billions of dollars of trade each year. 

In November, a delegation of Jordanian MPs traveled to Damascus and met Assad in a visit to discuss ways to improve relations.


More than 85 Houthis killed in battles across Yemen

Updated 17 February 2019
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More than 85 Houthis killed in battles across Yemen

  • More than 40 militants were killed in the southern Taiz province, and 18 others were killed on the Damt front in the southern Ad Dali province
  • Scores of militants were wounded, while the army seized military-grade equipment and ammunition.

DUBAI: More than 85 Iran-backed Houthi militants were killed and more wounded in clashes with the Yemeni army supported by the Arab Coalition across the country on Saturday, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported.

According to the reports, more than 40 militants were killed in the southern Taiz province, and 18 others were killed on the Damt front in the southern Ad Dali province, while more than 30 were killed in clashes with the Hajour tribe northwest of the country.

Scores of militants were wounded, while the army seized military-grade equipment and ammunition.

Meanwhile, Yemen’ Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad al-Hadrami said that the continued conflict stirred by the Houthis threatens the Swedish peace agreement and any progress in the political process.

In a meeting with UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash on the sidelines of the 55th session of the Munich Conference of Security 2019, Al-Hadrami said that the continued Houthi manipulation represents the failed opportunities for peace in Yemen.

For his part, UAE’s Gargash stressed on the need to combine efforts and send clear messages to the international community revealing the truth behind the militia’s violations on the ground.