Jordan carrier resuming flights to Syria in new sign of thaw

Jordan's official news agency says the country's national airline will resume direct flights to Syria's capital Damascus on Oct. 3

AMMAN, Jordan -- Jordan’s national airline will resume direct flights to Damascus on Oct. 3, Jordan’s state-run news agency reported Tuesday, nearly a decade after flights were suspended because of the war in Syria.

The resumption of flights is the latest sign of thawing relations between the two neighbors.

The decision was announced at the end of a two-day ministerial meeting held in Jordan's capital of Amman, in which the two sides discussed strengthening cooperation in the trade, transport, energy and agriculture sectors, according to the Petra news agency.

After a decade of conflict, military operations in Syria have largely died down after President Bashar Assad’s forces — aided by allies Iran and Russia — recaptured most of the territory previously held by rebels.

More recently, some Arab countries have shown a willingness to mend relations with Syria, whose membership in the Arab League was suspended in 2011 over its brutal crackdown against largely peaceful protests.

Last week, Syria’s defense minister was invited to Amman for talks with Jordan’s army chief on border security.

Earlier this month, ministers from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt said after meeting in Amman that Egyptian natural gas should reach Lebanon through Jordan and Syria as soon as next month, after maintenance of pipelines and the review of a deal interrupted 10 years ago.

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