Jordan allows airlines to resume flights over Syria after 7 years
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Jordan allows airlines to resume flights over Syria after 7 years

In a statement carried by Jordan News Agency (Petra) on Monday, Jordan Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission announced that the permission was issued following a series of safety assessments. National airline companies wishing to operate via the Syrian airspace are required to submit an assessment of air safety risks in addition to using a specific route and cruising at a set altitude, read the statement. The regulatory commission further noted that it was still evaluating the conditions of Syrian airports, especially the Damascus International Airport.  Royal Jordanian, the flag carrier airline of the kingdom, confirmed that it was aware of the commission’s permission, adding, however, that the airline would assess the situation before taking any decision in this regard. Back in 2012, Royal Jordanian halted flights over Syria and re-routed them. Amman had recalled its ambassador from Damascus a year earlier, when foreign-backed militancy broke out in Syria. Jordan also began providing support to some of the militant groups fighting to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Damascus-Amman relations were completely suspended in 2014 after Jordan expelled Damascus’ ambassador. In recent months, however, Jordan – among other Arab countries – has been moving to mend its ties with Damascus as the Syrian government, backed by Iran and Russia, has managed to defeat the militant outfits on the battlefield and wrest back control of almost all areas of the Arab country. In October 2018, Jordan reopened a key border crossing with Syria that had been shut for three years. The route once carried billions of dollars of trade each year. A delegation of Jordanian lawmakers also traveled to Damascus and met with President Assad for talks on ways to improve relations. Jordan then raised its diplomatic representation in Damascus to the level of chargé d'affaires in January. The kingdom’s parliament, however, wants the government to restore full diplomatic relations with neighboring Syria.

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