Syria vows to oppose Israel in new relations with Jordan

The Prime Minister of Jordan was quoted as saying that the Jordan-Syria ties are “in the interests of the Arab world."

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad addresses the new members of parliament in Damascus, Syria in this handout released by SANA on August 12, 2020 (photo credit: SANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad addresses the new members of parliament in Damascus, Syria in this handout released by SANA on August 12, 2020
(photo credit: SANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Syria has vowed to continue fighting Israel as it strives to improve its relations with Jordan.

It is widely known that the Syrian regime has been doing more outreach across the region. In recent years it held high-level calls with Egypt, and more recently with Iraq, Jordan and now Gulf countries. Syria seems to want to come in from the cold after years of civil war. Many Arab states are signaling they also want new normalization.  

According to Iranian media, this could be a concern for Iran. Although the Iranians don’t state this openly, Tehran is concerned that Syria might return to the ranks of the Arab states, a move that could reduce the flow of arms via Iraq and Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Stability and normalization could be bad for Iran. A drone attack on the US base at Tanf over the weekend is an example of how Iran wants destabilization. Russia supports Damascus and may also prefer Syria reoriented toward the Arab region. Tensions with Turkey are also continuing.

In this context, Iran’s Tasnim news says a senior Syrian official spoke to Al-Mayadeen news, which is pro-Iran. He says Arab countries are turning to Syria.

Jordan's King Abdullah II speaks after being welcomed by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to the US Capitol in Washington, US, July 22, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/ELIZABETH FRANTZ)Jordan's King Abdullah II speaks after being welcomed by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to the US Capitol in Washington, US, July 22, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/ELIZABETH FRANTZ)

“Consultations between Jordan and Syria started a year ago.”

The source added that the “relationship between Syrian President Bashar Assad and Jordan’s King Abdullah II was not the first meeting this year. Several Jordanian envoys have visited the Syrian presidential palace this year.”

This is important for Syria.

“A year ago was not a good time for Jordan to make public contact with Damascus, but now is a good time,” he said. Damascus wants Iran to know that it will continue to oppose Israel even as it is engaged in outreach to countries that have peace with Israel, such as Jordan and the UAE.

“The source said that Syria has not and will not change its position on the normalization of relations with the Zionist regime. Damascus considers normalization to be wrong and detrimental to Arab and Palestinian interests.” The official said, “Any change in Syria’s position toward Israel is a waiver of rights, and this is not an issue.”  

What Iran wants us to know is that “Iran has not been mentioned in talks with any Arab country. Previously, relations with Tehran were a problem for Arab countries in their relations and consultations with Syria,” Tasnim says. “The official said that Syria will not give up the fight with Israel. Syria will not resort to alliances that are not in line with its interests and principles,” Tasnim says.

Jordan recently opened a border crossing with Syria. There is even talk of supplying Lebanon with energy via Jordan and Syria. “Jordan has entered a new path to normalize relations with Syria,” the report says.

“Jordan is aware of the advantages and specifics of its relationship with Syria. If the situation in Syria is stable, it can support Jordan in the field of food, and Jordan is a gateway between Syria and the GCC countries,” said political analyst Ghassan Youssef.  

Regarding Jordan’s statement that “Jordan is working with the Arab countries and the international community to find a solution to the Syrian crisis,” the source said, “This makes Jordan not think that it is moving against the current and causes the reduction of pressure on this country is due to its interaction with Syria.” It was not clear what that statement meant.

ANOTHER PART of the report, however, notes that Jordan has close relations with the US and that the US is aware of the opening to Syria and that this means the US may be supporting the outreach.

“The problem [for the US] is because of the support of big countries like China for Syria.”

The report notes that high-level government ministers of Syria traveled to Jordan recently to discuss energy deals.

“Syrian Minister of Oil and Mines Bassam Ta’meh and Minister of Electricity Ghassan al-Zamil met with Jordanian Minister of Energy Haleh Zawati during a visit to Jordan.”

According to the statement, the meeting focused on the expansion of relations between the two countries in the field of oil and electricity.