Jordan and Syria collaborate to tackle drug smuggling

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A new forum to combat drug smuggling from war-ravaged Syria through Jordan to the Gulf states held its first meeting in Amman on Sunday, the Jordanian foreign ministry said.

The forum was agreed during talks between Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus earlier this month as regional concern mounts over an influx of the banned stimulant captagon from Syria.

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The Syrian delegation was headed by Defense Minister General Ali Mahmud Abbas and General Intelligence Director, Major General Husam Louka. Jordan’s was led by the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Major General Yousef Huneiti, and General Intelligence director, Major General Ahmed Husni, the Jordanian ministry said.

The talks “went over the issue of the parties that organise, run and carry out smuggling operations across borders to Jordan, as well as necessary measures to... confront this escalating danger to the entire region”, the ministry said.

Jordanian security forces have tightened border controls in recent years and occasionally announce thwarted drugs and weapons smuggling attempts from Syria.

There has been increasing regional engagement with Assad’s government since its readmission to the Arab League in May, ending more than a decade of isolation since civil war erupted in Syria in 2011.

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