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Arab Summit: New Syrian-Jordan unity

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AMMAN, JORDAN – Monday’s Arab League Summit will likely be dominated by the absence of the Egypt’s president, and the presence of Sudan’s president.

But a more enduring change for the region may get little attention: a new détente between Syria and Jordan.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad came to Jordan last week for the first time in five years and met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, thawing out what had been chilly relations between the neighboring countries ahead of the summit to take place in Doha, Qatar, on Monday and Tuesday.

The two have had differing viewpoints over a number of issues in recent years, spanning from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Syria's relations with Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah. While relations have been maintained through trading messages, Syria and Jordan had been avoiding high-level
meetings and kept an official distance from each other. Last year, when the Arab summit was hosted in Syria, Jordan sent a noticeably low-level delegation.

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