Violence in Syria chokes off imports from Jordan
Jordan’s exports of agricultural produce to Syria are currently halted after the Syrian side closed its border crossings, an official said on Tuesday.
Ministry of Agriculture Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin said that ongoing violence sweeping the southern parts of Syria, near the border with Jordan, caused a closure of the crossings, preventing Jordanian trucks laden with fruits and vegetables from entering Syrian territory.
In remarks to The Jordan Times, Haddadin said that the Syrian border crossing facilities have been vacated by all personnel due to increasing violence.
“Though I am not in a position to comment on such a security issue, customs personnel were most likely forced to leave their posts due to escalating clashes between the Free Syrian Army and government forces.”
In October last year, Jordan’s exports to Syria started to regain momentum, averaging some 1,400 tonnes per day after a long hiatus blamed on internal fighting in the Kingdom’s northern neighbour that has been ongoing since 2011.
In previous remarks to The Jordan Times, Jordan Exporters and Producers Association for Fruits and Vegetables President Suleiman Hiyari said that since October 20, 2012, Jordan has been safely exporting around 1,400 tonnes of vegetables to Syria daily.
“It has been dramatically strange. Since October, around 40-45 trucks laden with various types of vegetables have been entering Syria daily with no incidents whatsoever despite the turmoil,” Hiyari said.
According to ministry figures, in normal circumstances Jordan exports 180,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables to Syria annually, worth around JD40 million.
Official figures also said that between 300 and 400 freight trucks used to enter Syria from the Kingdom on a daily basis.