Jordan starts fourth phase of repatriation mission as coronavirus pandemic continues

Jordan has been repatriating nationals stuck abroad because of travel restrictions imposed by host countries due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 12 July 2020

Jordan starts fourth phase of repatriation mission as coronavirus pandemic continues

  • Jordan is also helping people of other nationalities stranded in the country return to their homes

DUBAI: Jordan is undertaking the fourth phase of its program repatriating nationals stuck abroad because of travel restrictions imposed by their host countries due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jordan is also helping people of other nationalities stranded in the country return to their homes, state news agency Petra reported.

“The fourth phase of the evacuation plan for those arriving at Queen Alia Airport has begun, and this phase includes the repatriating travelers from 13 countries,” Brig. Gen. Khaled Shantir, the Director of Airport Security and Protection, said.

“This phase has begun by receiving a large number of Palestinians who were transported directly to their country’s crossing.”

More than 24,500 people have left Jordan for their countries, after being forced to stay in the country because of the coronavirus lockdown imposed earlier in the year.

The Jordanian government earlier launched a website, safelyhome2.gov.jo, for stranded citizens to submit their intention to be repatriated either by air – through Queen Alia International Airport – by sea or via land crossings.

As a safety precaution, repatriates would be asked to undergo necessary medical and precautionary tests upon their arrival at the airport. Their personal luggage would also be sterilized and disinfected to ensure no onward transmission of the highly contagious coronavirus.

The repatriates are also required to undergo quarantine in isolation areas designated by the government.


Trump wrote to Assad about journalist missing in Syria, says Pompeo

In this file photo taken on December 04, 2018, Marc and Debra Tice, the parents of US journalist Austin Tice (portrait L), who was abducted in Syria more than six years ago, speak at a press conference in Beirut. (AFP)
Updated 15 August 2020

Trump wrote to Assad about journalist missing in Syria, says Pompeo

  • In 2018, US authorities announced a $1 million reward for information that would lead to his recovery

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump personally wrote to his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad about the case of journalist Austin Tice, who has been missing since 2012, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday.
“The US government has repeatedly attempted to engage Syrian officials to seek Austin’s release,” Pompeo said in a statement on the eighth anniversary of Tice’s disappearance.
“President Trump wrote to Bashar Assad in March to propose direct dialogue.”
Tice was a freelance photojournalist working for Agence France-Presse, McClatchy News, The Washington Post, CBS and other news organizations when he disappeared after being detained at a checkpoint near Damascus on Aug. 14, 2012.
Thirty-one years old at the time he was captured, Tice appeared blindfolded in the custody of an unidentified group of armed men in a video a month later.
Since then, there has been no official information on whether he is alive or dead.
In March, Trump said the United States had written a letter to authorities in Damascus, without specifying that he himself had written personally to Assad, who Washington wants out of power. At that time, Trump said he did not know if Tice was still alive.

HIGHLIGHT

Tice was a freelance photojournalist working for Agence France-Presse, McClatchy News, The Washington Post, CBS and other news organizations when he disappeared after being detained at a checkpoint near Damascus on Aug. 14, 2012.

“No one should doubt the president’s commitment to bringing home all US citizens held hostage or wrongfully detained overseas,” Pompeo said Friday.
“Nowhere is that determination stronger than in Austin Tice’s case.”
Pompeo said he and Trump hoped there would be “no need for another statement like this a year from now.”
“Austin Tice’s release and return home are long, long overdue. We will do our utmost to achieve that goal,” he added.
A year ago, the US government said it believed Tice was still alive.
His mother Debra Tice said in January that she had “credible information” to that effect, without elaborating.
In 2018, US authorities announced a $1 million reward for information that would lead to his recovery.