Jordan, Syria agree to reopen border crossing

Wadi Araba crossing into Palestine to go fully operational on August 1

Cars queue to cross from Jordan into Syria through the Jaber Border Crossing, on November 11, 2018. (Photo: Jordan News)
Cars queue to cross from Jordan into Syria through the Jaber Border Crossing, on November 11, 2018. (Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Jordan on Tuesday communicated to Syria its keenness to reopen Jaber Border Crossing at full capacity.اضافة اعلان

Meanwhile, the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority on Tuesday announced that the southern Wadi Araba Crossing will go fully operational as of August 1st.  

According to a government statement, Interior Minister Mazen Farraya made a phone call Tuesday to his Syrian counterpart, Mohammad Khalid Al-Rahmoun, “and stressed the need to re-operate the center at full capacity, due to the strategic importance of Jaber crossing and the benefits both Jordan and Syrian can reap.”

The statement said that Farraya acted upon instructions by Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh, who visited the facility earlier this month.

The Syrian minister “welcomed the suggestion to reopen the center … vowing his country’s willingness to take all the necessary arrangements towards that end”.

The two sides, the statement added, agreed to open the door for field coordination between the officials manning the facility on both sides, including the health protocol that should be followed.

In a statement by the Aqaba authority, the crossing has witnessed an active tourist movement since its reopening in July, with 500 passengers crossing into the Kingdom daily, while conforming to the health protocols.

During Eid Al-Adha, the number of tourists increased to reach to 5,000. The holidays also contributed to reviving the commercial movement in the city of Aqaba. 

The International Health Regulations Liaison Officer for Aqaba Governorate Mohammed Al Muheisin told Jordan News that the protocols which are set for the tourists’ entry to Aqaba through Wadi Araba crossing included a certificate of COVID-19 vaccine: two doses or one dose taken 21 days before the entry at least, with a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival.

Muheisin indicated the PCR test will cost JD28 per tourist, and the result will be out within two or three hours.

He also pointed out that if the tourists stay in the city lasts for less than 72 hours, they can leave without undergoing the PCR test again.

For his part, President of Aqaba Hotels Association Salah Al-Bitar said in remarks to Jordan News that opening the Wadi Araba operation in full capacity will have a positive impact on the tourism sector; especially in receiving Palestinian people and foreign tourists coming from Palestine. He also pointed out that Aqaba is a popular destination for Palestinians from both the West Bank and 1948 lands.

Bitar added that the positive impact on the tourism and commercial sector will be significant as long as the number of tourists who are allowed to enter through the crossing is not specified.

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