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Jordan had been even reluctant to set up the tents camps near the border that house most of the Syrian refugees, possibly to avoid angering Assad’s autocratic regime by showing images at his doorstep of civilians fleeing his military onslaught. While Syria’s rebels are present among the refugees and buy weapons in Jordan’s black market, they must lie low and the government says it gives them no support.
Syria has been one of Jordan’s largest Arab trade partners, with bilateral trade estimated at $470 million last year — and Syria is a vital route for Jordanian exports to markets in Turkey and Europe.
Last Sunday, Jordan’s king announced that security along his northern frontier has been tightened, but Syrian refugees fleeing violence will still be allowed to enter.
"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," King Abdullah II said at a Cabinet session.
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