Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi is in Damascus to show “solidarity” after the quake. Image Credit: REUTERS file

DAMASCUS: Jordan’s foreign minister Ayman Safadi arrived in Damascus on Wednesday in the first such visit since the Syrian conflict and will later head to Turkey to show “solidarity” after the quake, an official source said.

The visit will focus on humanitarian needs and how Jordan, a neighbour that hosts tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, can help in ongoing relief operations, the source said.

“Safadi will discuss the humanitarian and aid needs that the two countries need,” a statement from the foreign ministry said, adding that aid planes will fly to both countries on Wednesday.

Jordan has sent large shipments of aid to both countries with the kingdom sending a medical hospital to Turkey and organising several large flights and aid convoys through the country’s northern border crossing with Syria.

Amman, which never ruptured ties with Damascus, has long had rocky ties with its northern neighbour.

Staunch US ally Jordan had supported mainstream rebel groups that had sought to topple Syrian President Bashar Al Assad but later backed Russian-led military campaign that regained southern Syria from rebel control.

Efforts to improve ties have floundered since Assad talked at the end of 2021 to King Abdullah for the first time since the conflict.

Jordan has criticised Damascus for failing to curb a multi-billion dollar drug smuggling operation to the Gulf through its borders that Amman blames on Iranian-backed militias who hold sway in southern Syria.