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AMMAN, September 13, 2018 (Reuters) - Jordan and Syria held their first technical talks on opening a major border crossing in southern Syria that was recaptured from the opposition last July, a Jordanian official source said on Thursday.

Damascus, which took back the crossing from the opposition, hopes to reopen the Nassib route vital to its hopes of reviving Syria’s shattered economy and rebuilding in territory under its control. Amman also hopes the opening of the border crossing will reactivate billions of dollars of annual transit trade between Europe and Gulf markets across Syria.

The source told Reuters a technical committee from the two countries held their first meeting on the border crossing on Wednesday to begin discussions on the practical arrangements from customs to security needed to reopen the crossing.

“The meetings will continue to put a complete view of all the arrangements linked to reopening the crossings in the coming period,” the source said.

Another Jordanian official said the crossing could open by the end of this year.

The closure of the crossing has also weighted on Lebanese exporters who used it to export hundreds of millions of dollars of produce and goods to lucrative Gulf markets.

Jordan’s private sector are also pinning hopes of a revival in bilateral trade in a major neighboring market where Jordanian business have long standing ties.

The Syrian government has recovered control of most of the country with help from its allies Russia and Iran.

With Russian air power, government forces have this year defeated the armed opposition in the last remaining enclaves near the cities of Homs and Damascus, and swept through the rebel-held southwest.

CAIRO, Sept 10, 2018 (MENA) - Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will hold talks on Tuesday with his Jordanian and Iraqi counterparts here.

Shoukry is scheduled to meet with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al Safadi at Tahrir Palace to tackle bilateral ties, coordination, and consultation between the two countries as well as issues of common interest, topped by the Palestinian cause.

The top diplomat will confer with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari to discuss bilateral relations and the latest developments in Iraq.

CAIRO, Sept 7, 2018 (MENA) - Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr on Friday had talks with Jordanian Minister of Industry and Trade Tarek al Hamouri on preparations for meetings of the higher joint committee.

The 28th session of the committee meetings will be held in Cairo under the co- chairmanship of the prime ministers of the two countries.

The two ministers also discussed means of increasing Jordanian investments in Egypt.

CAIRO, August 23, 2018 - Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri received a phone call from his Jordanian counterpart Aymen el Safadi during which the two top diplomats discussed means of pushing forward the Middle East peace-making process, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said that Shoukri and el-Safadi discussed encouraging the Palestinians and the Israelis to resume the peace talks.

During the phone conversation, Shoukri briefed his Jordanian opposite number about the results of his latest visit to Washington, where he held talks with Trump Administration officials about the resumption of the Middle East peace negotiations between the Arabs and Israel, Abu Zeid said.

He said that the Shoukri-Safadi phone conversation had also dealt with the present difficult financial status of UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees).

The two foreign ministers discussed how Egypt and Jordan could coordinate their efforts to help UNRWA assume its duties towards the Palestinian refugees, Abu Zeid said.

“They had also agreed to continue their consultations and coordinate the Egyptian and Jordanian stances on regional issues of common concern,” he told the official Middle East News Agency (MENA).   

AMMAN, Aug 20, 2018 (MENA) - King Abdullah II and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed, over the phone on Monday, boosting bilateral relations in all domains, according to a statement by the Royal Diwan.

The contact tackled distinguished relations between Jordan and India and expanding economic and investment cooperation.

King Abdullah expressed heartfelt condolences to the Indian premier over the victims of floods that hit the Indian State of Kerala lately and left 357 persons dead.

AMMAN, August 12, 2018 (News Wires) - Four members of the Jordanian security forces and three "terrorists" have been killed during a raid on a militant hideout after an officer died in a bomb blast near the capital, the government said on Sunday.

Five suspects were also arrested during Saturday's raid in connection with the home-made bomb that exploded under a patrol car at a music festival.

A joint unit of special forces, police and army troops raided a house in the town of Salt northwest of Amman in search of a suspected "terrorist cell", government spokeswoman Jumana Ghneimat said.

She said the militants were sought in connection with Friday night's bombing that killed a police sergeant and wounded six others in the town of Al-Fuhais west of Amman.

"The suspects refused to surrender and opened heavy fire towards a joint security force," Ghneimat said on Saturday.

They also "blew up the building in which they were hiding, and which they had booby-trapped earlier", she added.

Three members of the security forces were killed in the shootout with the gunmen who were holed up in an apartment in a four-storey residential bloc in Salt, she said in a statement.

A fourth who was critically wounded died of his injuries on Sunday, she added.

The bodies of three "terrorists" as well as automatic weapons were found under the rubble of the building, and a total of five militants were arrested during the operation, Ghneimat said.

Bomb blasts targeting security forces are rare in Jordan, although the small desert kingdom bordering Syria and Iraq has had to struggle with a rise in Muslim fundamentalism in recent years.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday's bomb blast in Al-Fuhais, a mostly Christian town, and the identities of the suspects were not known.

"A clean-up operation is still under way," Ghneimat said, adding that units of the civil defence were at the scene to assess the damage at the building and sift through the rubble.

Ghneimat urged civilians to stay away, warning that "it could totally collapse at any minute".

An excavator was later seen demolishing the structure.

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