AMMAN — The government said on Sunday that it will focus its efforts on protecting Jordan’s northern border with Syria while offering all needed assistance to Syrian nationals escaping the violence in their country.
Meanwhile, His Majesty King Abdullah expressed his satisfaction with the plans and procedures taken by the government to safeguard the country’s northern borders, a Royal Court statement said.
“It is our duty to protect citizens, but at the same time, we have to open our doors to our Syrian brothers, and I’m very optimistic that the situation is moving in the right direction,” the King said.
Chairing part of a Cabinet meeting on Sunday, King Abdullah noted that Jordan will continue to coordinate with the international community to fulfil its promises towards the Kingdom and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) concerning displaced Syrians.
Jordan and the US on Sunday signed an agreement under which Washington pledged to provide additional $100 million to help Amman shoulder the refugee burden.
Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications and Government Spokesperson Samih Maaytah said the escalating situation in Syria and its effects on the Kingdom were discussed by the Council of Ministers during its meeting.
The situation, he said, requires Jordan to take all necessary measures to protect its “northern region and national security from any infiltrations”.
At the same time, Jordan will not save any effort in assisting Syrians seeking shelter, as it did ever since the beginning of the crisis, in accordance with King Abdullah’s directives and in coordination with the UNHCR.
“We are closely monitoring the developments in Syria and we are working on controlling the influx of Syrian refugees,” Maaytah said following the Cabinet’s weekly meeting.
“I realise the big challenges ahead of you,” the King said, addressing the Council of Ministers, voicing his appreciation for the efforts exerted by the government during the past period.
A Jordanian security official told Agence France-Presse on Saturday that opposition fighters from the Free Syrian Army had tried earlier in the day to seize control of the Nassib border crossing in Syria near the border with Jordan, but they failed after fighting with the Syrian army.
The Syrian rebels have seized border crossings near Iraq and Turkey.
Jordan currently hosts more than 140,000 Syrians who escaped the violence in their country.