Jordan taking 'all measures' to stop drug smuggling from Syria, says foreign minister

Kingdom normalised ties with Damascus at the end of last year

Jordanian soldiers along the border with Syria, February 17, 2022. AFP
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Jordan is doing all it can to stop the flow of drugs from Syria, Foreign Minister Ayman Al Safadi said on Wednesday, addressing an issue that has become a major security concern for the kingdom.

Mr Al Safadi told Geir Pedersen, UN special envoy to Syria, that Jordan “is continuing to take all the measures to counter this danger and will do all that is necessary to guarantee the security of its borders”.

“It is not possible to live with the current situation in Syria and what it produces, from suffering to the Syrians and the negative impact to the region, especially to the neighbouring countries,” Mr Al Safadi said in an official statement.

Diplomats in Amman and security officials in the region say that billions of dollars' worth of narcotics, particularly the drug known as Captagon, pass every year from Syria into Jordan. A large proportion of drugs are then smuggled again to Saudi Arabia.

There have been no signs that the flow has abated since Jordan normalised ties with the government of Bashar Al Assad in the last quarter of 2021.

The regime in Damascus was largely ostracised for its deadly suppression of the 2011 revolt against five decades of Assad family rule. But after prodding from Russia, Jordan became a proponent of accommodation with Mr Assad.

Mr Al Safadi said Jordan advocates a “collective” Arab role in bringing an end to the Syrian civil war and to “confront all what this crises causes from humanitarian, political, security and economic challenges”.

Updated: October 19, 2022, 5:06 PM