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MoAg: Resolving land export barriers require direct talks with Syria and Jordan

16-9-2020

Despite previous contacts between President Aoun and the Jordanian King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, regarding the closure of the Jaber border crossing, problems facing Lebanese trucks seems unresolved (https://bit.ly/2ZCNmwD). Owners of refrigerated truck and containers staged a sit-in on Monday giving the Lebanese government a two-week ultimatum to resolve the land export problem, including easing the high transit fees enforced by the Jordanian and Syrian authorities. Truckers threatened to escalate matters up to closing the land borders. They reminded of the high number of trucks stranded for a month now at the Jaber Jordanian border crossing after all negotiations on the part of the Lebanese authorities have failed . The head of the Bekaa Farmers’ Association, Ibrahim Tarshishi, demanded reciprocal treatment to this effect, reminding that Lebanese truckers pay around USD 2000 in transit fees to Syria, while trucks loaded with shipments of tons of fresh veggies and fruits are left high and dry for days and weeks at the borders with Jordan. Speaking to An Nahar daily, the caretaker minister of agriculture, Abbas Mortada, said Lebanese export trucks are facing a real dilemma, stressing that the matter can only be resolved through direct talks between Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Mortada disclosed that every time the matter was brought up during cabinet meetings, it was systematically dismissed for political reasons known to all. (An Nahar, Al Diyar, September 16, 2020)

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