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Syria speaker ‘likely’ to attend Arab parliamentary meeting in Amman

Tarawneh extends invitation as Syrian delegation meets with Senate president

By Raed Omari - Jan 27,2019 - Last updated at Jan 27,2019

Senate President Faisal Fayez meets with a delegation from the Syrian Bar Association in Amman on Saturday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Syrian People's Assembly Speaker Hammoudeh Sabbagh is likely to attend the Arab Inter-parliamentary Union's meeting upon an invitation from Jordan, a well-informed source said, as a Syrian delegation met with the Senate on Saturday.

Preferring to remain unnamed, the source familiar with the issue told The Jordan Times that Sabbagh is likely to accept Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh's official invitation to attend the 29th meeting of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union, slated to be held in Amman in March.

"I understood from the head of the visiting delegation of Syrian lawyers that Tarawneh's invitation will be accepted," the source said, adding, "although nothing official was announced from the Syrian side yet, I can, to an extent, say that the invitation was accepted."

A delegation of Syrian lawyers arrived in the Kingdom last Thursday for a three-day visit upon an invitation from the Jordan Bar Association (JBA).

The Syrian delegation met with Senate President Faisal Fayez on Saturday over bilateral relations and is expected to meet with Tarawneh today. 

Fayez said during the meeting that restoring the ties between Jordan and Syria “is of both countries’ interest”, stressing that the Kingdom’s stance towards Syria and its support of reaching a political solution to the conflicts that ensures the unity of its people and territory, has never altered, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

“We seek to return ties with Syria to their former fraternal nature and melt the ice in bilateral relations on all levels,” the Senate president said.

He added that security coordination between the two countries was not halted throughout the conflict, and that neither country closed its embassy in the neighbouring country, stressing that the Kingdom never turned its back on Syrians, but provided refuge and safety for the Syrians who came to Jordan, in spite of the economic, social and security burdens posed by the refugee influx.

The Syrian delegation was headed by Syria’s Bar Association chief Nizar Skeif.

Skeif is a member of the Syrian People’s Assembly, the Damascus delegation in the Astana talks and the committee tasked with drafting a new constitution for the country, according to JBA President Mazen Irsheidat.

“Skeif is a very important Syrian politician and legislator,” Irsheidat said, adding that the Syrian delegation will meet with the heads of both Houses of Parliament to discuss ways to push Jordanian-Syrian relations forward.

JBA President Mazen Irsheidat, who received the Syrian lawyers on Thursday, said that the visits of the Jordanian association and other civil society organisations to Syria came in implementation of His Majesty King Abdullah’s directives. 

“His Majesty told us during a meeting to go to Syria and take the initiative to pave the way for government agencies’ official visits to the northern neigbour,” he told The Jordan Times on Thursday.

“This was also urged by [Syrian] President Bashar Assad during a meeting in Damascus 10 days ago. There is certainly a strong will from the leaders of the two countries to strengthen Jordanian-Syrian relations,” Irsheidat added.

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