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Syria to re-open border crossing with Jordan

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Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2018 shows Jordan’s Jaber checkpoint near Nasib border crossing between Jordan and Syria, near Mafraq, Jordan. Syria has declared the re-opening of the border crossing on Oct. 10,2018. Xinhua

DAMASCUS (Xinhua) – The Syrian Ministry of Transportation has declared that the logistic preparations have been done for the re-opening of the Nasib Border Crossing with Jordan slated for Oct. 10, state news agency SANA reported.

A ministry statement said the border crossing will begin to receive the movement of trucks and transit to and from Syria next month.

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 week, the 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 small Mediterranean country has crossings with Syria only and through Nasib it 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 and costly 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, the kingdom 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 a billion US dollars.

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