President Erdogan in Jordan for talks on Syria

President Erdogan in Jordan for talks on Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hold talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman today; finding a solution to the

Photo: AFP/Jared Kohler

Photo: AFP/Jared Kohler

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hold talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman today; finding a solution to the conflict in Syria is expected to feature prominently.

While the two states are aligned in their desire to see peace in Syria, tension remains around regional Islamist politics, dividing the countries on a strategic level.

A deal struck between Turkey, Iran and Russia in May inspired four “de-escalation zones”—in northern Homs, northern Damascus, Idlib province and along the Jordanian border. The ceasefires have proved effective at reducing violence and easing the flow of refugees to neighbouring countries.

Jordan has been hit hard by the war in Syria; more than 1.3 million refugees now live in the kingdom, something King Abdullah says has put Jordanian society “at boiling point”.

Abdullah, under his own domestic pressure by religious reformists, has not always backed Turkey’s Islamist proxies in Syria. Jordan is also aligned with the (secular, authoritarian) Egyptian and Saudi governments against Turkey’s pro-Islamist ally, Qatar. While de-escalation is necessary to quiet the border, this meeting will not change Jordan’s long game against Islamic politics.

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