Syrian, Jordanian Army and Intelligence Chiefs Meet Over Border Drug War
Story Code : 1071656
The meeting comes after Syria's neighbors got a pledge from Damascus during a meeting last May in Amman to cooperate with their efforts to rein in Syria's flourishing drug trade in exchange for helping end its pariah status after a brutal crackdown of peaceful protesters during the war.
The talks headed by Jordanian army head Lieutenant General Yousef Hunaiti and Syrian Defense Minister Ali Mahmoud Abbas in the presence of both countries' intelligence chiefs also tackled the threat drugs posed to regional stability, a Jordanian foreign ministry statement said.
"The meeting discussed cooperation in confronting the drug danger and its sources of production and smuggling and the parties that organize and execute smuggling operations across the border," the statement said.
Syria is accused by Arab governments and the West of producing the highly-addictive and lucrative amphetamine "Captagon" and organizing its smuggling into the Gulf, with Jordan a main transit route.
The kingdom has been alarmed about lawlessness in the strategic southern region. The US, Britain and European Union have blamed Syria's government for the alleged production and export of the drug.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government denies involvement in drug-making and smuggling.
Jordan, impatient with what it says are broken promises to curb the drug war, took matters into its own hands and in May made a rare strike inside Syrian territory where an Iran-linked drugs factory was demolished, local and Western intelligence sources said.
Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi earlier this month said in Damascus his country would not hesitate to act against any threat to its national security and urged Damascus to act more forcefully.
Jordan has a roughly 230 miles long border with Syria.