Jordan reopens commerce gateway with Syria after month-long COVID-19 closure

AMMAN: Jordan on Sunday (Sep 27) resumed its land border site visitors with Syria, following a greater than month-long closure, after making use of new guidelines to stop truck drivers spreading the novel coronavirus into the dominion, officers and businessmen mentioned.

They mentioned authorities imposed back-to-back dealing with of products to make sure Syrian, Lebanese truck drivers and others getting into the dominion preserve a social distance from Jordanian customs officers.

Officers mentioned in mid-August they needed to shut the crossing, the primary gateway for items from Lebanon and Syria to the Gulf, after dozens of infections amongst border officers linked to a spike in circumstances in neighbouring Syria.

Earlier than the decade-old battle in Syria, the Nasib-Jaber crossing was additionally a transit route for a whole lot of vans a day transporting items between Europe and Turkey and the Gulf in a multi-billion greenback annual commerce.

The closure hit commerce that had already shrunk due to the impression of COVID-19 and the Caesar Act – the hardest US sanctions but that got here into drive in June and prohibited international corporations buying and selling with Damascus.

“We’ve got had hundreds of thousands of {dollars} of losses on account of the closure,” mentioned Mohammad al Daoud, the president of the Jordanian Truck Homeowners’ Affiliation that represents over 17,000 vans.

The nation’s different land crossings with Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Palestinian territories have been solely open for industrial items since a lockdown in March to stem the pandemic.

Syrian authorities mentioned 70 trailers carrying, principally contemporary produce, entered Jordan on Sunday, together with transit cargo heading to Gulf markets and Iraq.

Whereas the crossing was closed, Syria’s solely usually working frontier crossing had been with Lebanon, which itself has no different functioning land borders.

Lebanon was additionally hit laborious by the closure. It depends on the crossing for overland connections to all different international locations as a result of its solely different frontier is with Israel, with which it has no ties.

“This crossing is an financial lifeline for all our land exports,” mentioned Ibrahim al Tarshishi, the top of the Lebanese farmers’ affiliation. 

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