FILE – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meeting with King Abdullah II during a 2019 visit to Jordan. (Photo credit: Twitter)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has begun a new tour of West Asia, arriving in the Jordanian capital Amman late on 2 November.
The Kremlin official met with his Jordanian counterpart, Hussein Abdullah al-Safadi, on Thursday, ahead of a planned meeting with King Abdullah II bin al-Hussein.
After his visit to the Hashemite kingdom, Lavrov is expected to travel to the UAE, one of Russia’s major partners within the OPEC+ bloc.
According to a statement released by Russia’s foreign ministry, the talks with Jordanian officials will focus on “pressing international and regional issues, in particular Ukraine, Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian settlement, Iraq and the Gulf, as well as bilateral issues.”
The western-sponsored war in neighboring Syria remains one of Jordan’s main priorities, as Amman considers that the security on its border has been compromised.
Russia has remained one of Syria’s closest allies in the fight against extremist groups since 2015.
Last year, Moscow helped broker a rapprochement between Jordan and Syria, which culminated in a phone call in October 2021 between King Abdullah and President Bashar al-Assad.
Moscow also sponsored a ceasefire and reconciliation agreement between armed groups in southern Deraa governorate and Damascus, which allowed thousands of civilians to return to their homes and the reopening of the Jaber-Nassib border crossing after rebels laid down their arms.
However, in recent months a surge of targeted assassinations, kidnappings, and roadside bomb attacks against government officials and former militants who supported the reconciliation agreements have struck the border region with Jordan, resulting in the death and injuries of hundreds of Syrian citizens.
As a result of this, over the past several weeks the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has been carrying out a military operation targeting several armed factions accused of harboring ISIS fighters.